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Freston on: Expansion

MTV's next steps

MTV Networks plans to continue to grow its stable of digital channels, which include MTV2, MTV X, VH1 Soul, VH1 Country and Nickelodeon GAS.

MTV Networks topper Tom Freston says the company will probably look to expand its Nickelodeon and VH1 channels next.

“As digital continues to evolve, we’ll be launching more channels,” he says. “That’s an obvious opportunity.”

Freston’s top priorities also include growing out MTV2, the all-video sister to MTV launched in 1996. In ’99, MTV Networks acquired rival the Box in 1999 and later merged it with MTV2.

Freston expects MTV2 to reach 40 million households by the end of the year. Most of that coverage will be on digital tiers, although MTV hopes to gain more analog carriage as well.

“MTV2 is a real important part of our next marketing stage, which we call MTV360,” Freston says. “MTV, MTV2 and MTV.com are all programmed in a coordinated fashion.”

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