BEIJING — After years of having its name abused in China, Viacom’s MTV Network has finally started to get some protection from the government.
Liu Xiliang, a vice minister at the Ministry of Radio, Film and Television, has repeatedly stated publicly in recent months that the term “MTV” should not be used when referring to music videos.
Instead, Liu has asked that the term “music television” be adopted.
Viacom’s network broadcasts an hour of programming weekly on about two dozen cable networks in China.
Its brand name has been diluted in China, where music videos are commonly referred to simply as “MTV,” with no understanding that the name refers to an American network.
Oddly though, the vice minister has not mentioned intellectual property concerns when urging the disuse of “MTV.”
His reasons, instead, were first that MTV is a foreign word, second that many people don’t know the correct pronunciation of it and third that adopting “music television” was a requirement for “walking the road of nationalism.”