MTVN Rebrands MHD ‘Palladia,’ Adds New Programs

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MHD, the high-definition music channel from MTV Networks, is being renamed Palladia and adding exclusive concerts on Saturday nights and rock movies on Thursday nights in a move to boost distribution.

The channel, in about 12 million U.S. TV homes, will adopt the new name on Sept. 1. Tom Calderone, the executive vice president and general manager of VH-1, who also oversees two and a half year old MHD, said in a release the Palladia name is “bigger, more distinct” and “solidifies the channel’s position as the premier music channel in the growing high-def universe.” It’s supposed to connote a grand stage and exciting live performances.

While in 12 million homes, the channel has room to grow, having affiliation deals with top carriers Comcast, Cox, Verizon FiOS, Time Warner Cable, Dish, DirecTV, Charter, AT&T u-Verse and Insight. Added Calderone in the release: “We believe these changes will help our distributor partners as they continue to sell HD and strive for the best content."

The first week of September will be “Outdoor Music Week” on Palladia, featuring outdoor music concerts with performers including Madonna, Usher, Dave Matthews Band, Eric Clapton, John Mayer, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who, Green Day, Genesis, Jay-Z, Amy Winehouse, Foo Fighters, Kanye West, David Bowie, Snoop Dogg, Sugarland, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Dierks Bentley, Hank Williams Jr., Queen, Will Smith and The Rolling Stones.

The channel will premiere a different concert every Saturday at 9 p.m. and will show “seminal rock movies” every Thursday at 9 p.m.

Future themed programming includes a hip-hop weekend in October, a classic-rock movie week in November -- with first-time-ever HD telecasts of Led Zeppelin’s Song Remains The Same, Pink Floyd: The Wall and The Rolling Stones’ Let’s Spend The Night Together – and a best of 2008 week in December. The last will include HD versions MTV’s VMAs 2008, VH1's Hip Hop Honors 2008 and the CMT Music Awards 2008.

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