MTVN Cranks Up Latin American Engine


MTV Networks wants to take over Latin America.

Its MTV Networks Latin America unit Monday announced a multilevel business-expansion plan that extends its brands throughout the region.

The unit’s new ventures include the launches of VH1 Latin America and the MTVN Digital Suite for Mexico, as well as a greater partnership with International Program Enterprises, the company's program-sales and consumer-products division.

VH1 Latin America will launch in the second quarter of 2004, with its initial distribution in Mexico via pay TV, the programmer said. The network will also be made available throughout Latin America, with additional distribution to be announced.

Further details about the channel and its programming lineup will be announced in the coming months, MTVN said.

The MTVN Digital Suite -- comprised of MTV Hits, MTV Jams, VH1 Soul, VH1 Mega Hits and Nickelodeon's GAS Games & Sports for Kids -- will initially be carried in Mexico, with initial carriage through Grupo Televisa’s Cablevision S.A. on its digital tier. Additional distribution will be announced shortly.

"As pay TV continues to grow, VH1 Latin America will fill a void for adult, music-based programming, and as the industry transitions from analog to digital, our Digital Suite will similarly offer new, segmented content never before available to viewers," MTVN Latin America president Antoinette Zel said in a release.

"These new services and increased partnership across our channel, program-syndication and consumer-product businesses better positions us to give maximum value to consumers and clients," she added.