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SINGAPORE, HONG KONG -- MTV Japan's launch event in Tokyo featured Aerosmith and popular Japanese artists Air, Dragon Ash and Love Psychedelico.

The event, MTV It's Your Party, was to celebrate the Jan. 1 relaunch of MTV Japan's new TV network and Web site. Japanese viewers vied to attend the party via the Web site, mobile phone and at local shops.

The advertiser-supported MTV Japan features original Japanese-language content on air and online targeting the 16- to 34-year-old demographic. Reaching 2.8 million households via cable and satellite, the channel replaces Japanese music channel Vibe.

MTV's previous airing in Japan was a license deal from 1992-1998 with Pioneer, Tokyu and TDK. The station's mainly international content did not fare well in a market that sees Japanese artists posting the majority of domestic music sales.

MTV Japan is a strategic partnership between MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International, and @JapanMedia. Announced in August of last year, the partnership involves a multimillion-dollar investment in the Japanese market. MTV is registered in Japan as MTV Japan KK.

Meanwhile, Viacom plans to introduce its kids entertainment brand, Nickelodeon, to China on May 1, according to Chairman Sumner Redstone, who recently met with China's President Jiang Zemin during a four-day trip to Beijing.

As a first step, the company will enter into a co-production agreement with local partners to provide customized Chinese Nickelodeon programming to 100 cable and terrestrial stations in China, reaching 40 million households.

Viacom already produces three programs through local partnerships in China, including Tian Lai Cun, MTV English, MTV Countdown Show, which are produced with Beijing Television, Beijing Cable Television and Shanghai Television. In addition, it has produced the CCTV-MTV Mandarin Music Honors with China Central Television since 1999.

"Viacom is committed to expanding local partnerships to develop customized MTV and Nickelodeon programming in support of the Chinese music and television production industries. We believe this collaboration will provide high quality, locally relevant television entertainment for Chinese children and young people," said Mr. Redstone of Viacom's strategy in China.

MTV reaches more than 125 million households in 25 territories with eight services in the Asia/Pacific region, while Nickelodeon reaches 44 million households via five channels and program blocks in 13 Asia/Pacific countries, including India, Japan, Philippines, Malaysia and Singapore. -- Magz OSborne in Singapore and Normandy Madden in Hong Kong

Copyright April 2001, Crain Communications Inc.

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