CANNES — MTV Europe has announced plans to bow a new music television channel for the U.K., “MTV in the U.K.,” as well as introduce its alternative U.S. service, “M2: Music Television,” to Europe, beginning in Britain.
The British channel is set to launch some time in the fall; M2 will follow when a digital platform becomes avail-able in the U.K., likely through British Sky Broadcasting either late this year or early in 1998.
The move will further regionalize MTVE, which now is divided into three services, one each for northern, central and southern Europe.
MTV Networks Intl. president William Roedy told Daily Variety at the MIDEM music market Monday that a channel specific to the U.K. was “a natural extension to our regional strategy” and that “it is now justified from a business point of view.”
Roedy dismissed the suggestion that the company was reacting to competition in the U.K. market — rival music channels such as the Box and Rapture — saying that a service specific to Britain had long been planned. Roedy added that “the investment will be minimal for us because our infrastructure is based in London.”
Through satellite and cable, MTV reaches some 18 million homes in Britain, or about 30% of the country.