MTV to Launch African Network


Africa is no longer the final frontier for MTV Networks.

The Viacom Inc. unit will launch its first local channel in that continent, marking worldwide network No. 100 for the programmer. MTVN said it is the first global media company to achieve that milestone.

MTV Base in Africa will reach some 1.3 million homes in 48 countries -- primarily in South Africa and Nigeria -- when it begins broadcasting in February.

The network will be a 24-hour English-language channel carried on MultiChoice's direct-to-home pay TV service.

“The launch of MTV Base in Africa completes our global footprint, and I couldn't be more excited," Viacom co-president and co-chief operating officer Tom Freston said in a prepared statement.

“Ever since MTV first launched, we saw great potential to take this brand and make it relevant to audiences across the globe,” Freston added. “Today, with channels in every region of the world, we have done exactly that. So this year, to culminate that vision with our 100th channel launch in Africa is so sweet -- particularly since so much of contemporary music traces its roots to African music.”

“By tapping into Africa's rich local music scene, we plan to play a major role in supporting and exporting Africa's incredible artists and cultural heritage around the world,” MTVN International president Bill Roedy said in a prepared statement.

“Having this platform in Africa will also help to expand our efforts to fight the HIV/AIDS epidemic -- a global priority for our company and a vital issue for Africans,” Roedy added.