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MTV is a cable television network, originally devoted to popular rock, and other music videos. MTV later became an outlet for a variety of different material aimed at adolescents and young adults.

Its name is an acronym for Music TeleVision.

Table of contents
1 History
2 Criticism
3 External links
4 External links
5 External links


MTV started in New York City in 1981 and became available in most of the United States in the mid 1980s with the nationwide expansion of cable.

Aptly, the first music video shown on MTV was "Video Killed The Radio Star", by The Buggles. The early format of the network was modeled after Top 40 radio. Fresh-faced young men and women were hired to host the show's programming and to introduce videos that were being played. The term "VJ" (video jockey) was coined, a play on the term "DJ" (disc jockey.) Many VJs eventually became celebrities in their own right. The early music videos that made up the bulk of the network's programming in the '80s were often crude promotional or concert clips from whatever sources could be found; as the popularity of the network rose and record companies recognized the potential of the medium as a tool to gain recognition and publicity, they began to create increasingly elaborate clips specifically for the network. Several noted film directors got their start creating music videos.

A large number of rock stars of the 1980s and 1990s were made household names by MTV. 1980s bands immediately identifiable with MTV include Duran Duran and Bon Jovi. Michael Jackson launched the second wave of his career as an MTV staple. Madonna rose to fame on MTV in the 1980s, and she is still heavily dependent on the network to promote her music. In the 1990s, partly in response to claims of racism against the network, which focused mostly on white rock acts, significant amounts of rap music-oriented programming was added to MTV.

In 1984 the network produced its first Video Music Awards show. Seen as a fit of self-indulgence by a fledgling network at the time, the "VMAs" developed into an important music-industry showcase and a hip andidote to the often-stuffy Grammy awards. In 1991 the network would add a movie award show to similar success.

MTV started off showing music videos nearly full-time, but as time passed they introduced a variety of other shows, including animated cartoons such as Beavis and Butthead and Daria, "reality" shows such as The Real World and Road Rules, prank/comedic shows such as The Tom Green Show, Buzzkill and Jackass, and sitcoms such as Undressed. By the second half of the 1990s, MTV programming consisted primarily of non-music programming.

MTV is now available across the globe in various regionalized formats (although often sharing a degree of programming). The advent of digital satellite has also brought greater diversity including channels such as MTV2, which features the slogan "Where The Music's At." MTV2 focuses on playing music videos and other music-related programming. Other MTV channels include MTV Jams, MTV Hits, and MTV Espa˝ol in the USA, as well as MTV Dance and MTV Base in the UK. Viacom, which owns MTV Networks, is also behind VH1 which is aimed at the older market segements with more retro music.


Because of its visibility, MTV comes under scrutiny as an icon of crass commercialism, accused of denigrating the importance of music in the music industry, replacing it with a purely visual aesthetic, bereft of cultural resonance, and critical intelligence.

Critics also claim that bands sell well because they get lots of exposure on MTV, rather than MTV picking the best bands to promote, and that MTV has too much influence in the music industry.

See also: Carson Daly, List of MTV Shows.

External links

MTV is also the acronym for Magyar TelevÝziˇ, Hungarian Television, which operates two channels, MTV and M2.

External links

From 1950s to 1990s MTV was the acronym for Mainos-TV, a Finnish commercial television channel. Nowadays Mainos-TV is known as MTV3.

External links