MTV Goes Into Overdrive

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MTV: Music Television plans to launch a hybrid linear video and on-demand channel called MTV Overdrive on its MTV.com Web site (www.mtv.com) April 25.

Overdrive will contain free content, and executives said it will be supported with ad revenue, mainly in the form of 15-second commercials that will run between segments.

Overdrive will initially contain five programming channels. "The Lineup" will contain news, music content and movie clips; "News" will feature clips updated four times daily from MTV News; "Music" will contain music videos; "On TV" will feature behind-the-scenes content from MTV shows; and "Movies” will showcase movie trailers and celebrity interviews.

MTV executives said upcoming additional channels will focus on topics such as video-game culture and personal style.

MTV senior vice president of digital music and media Jason Hirschorn said the network may partner with high-speed-data services to market Overdrive and possibly develop premium content. But he added that MTV will not share ad revenue from Overdrive with cable operators or other distributors.

MTV Networks Group president Van Toffler said Overdrive may eventually add programs from other networks in its portfolio, which includes VH1, Black Entertainment Television, Comedy Central and Spike TV.

Initial Overdrive advertisers include Microsoft Corp., Procter & Gamble Co. and Sony Pictures.

MTV is building a new studio at its Times Square headquarters in New York to support Overdrive with content such as regular updates from MTV News.

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