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MTV targets African teen market

JOHANNESBURG: MTV Networks Africa (MTVNA) plans to introduce a range of on- and off-air initiatives designed to broaden the appeal of its African music TV channel, MTV base, to the African teen market.
MTV targets African teen market

From 1 July 2009, MTV base plans to restructure to its schedule and music programming policy, prioritising ‘urban' music genres, increasing the percentage of music content on the channel and investing in new local programming strands. Allied to this, MTVNA plans to also change the structure of the longform programming blocks on MTV base to service specific audience demographics, targeting the teen market in the afternoon and urban youth in the evening hours.

Commented Alex Okosi, senior vice-president and managing director, MTV Networks Africa, "By emphasising the 'M' in MTV base and creating a fresh and dynamic new programme slate, MTV Networks Africa will increase the appeal and viewership of MTV base across Africa."

New local productions from July 2009 will include a new themed music programming including 'Base Imports', 'Raw Classics', 'My Playlist', 'Base Top 5' and 'House Party' alongside 'DJ Take Over', a new primetime Saturday night programme fronted by well known club and radio DJs, a new twice weekly programme hosted by VJ Sizwe Dhlomo, and a three-part drama series set in Nairobi.

The changes will include the adoption of a new “complementary” programming strategy in order to maximise viewing across the MTVNA music channel portfolio and to remove crossover and duplication between MTV, MTV base and VH1. At the same time, MTVNA will be migrating rock, pop and other ‘alternative' music genres onto the MTV (European) channel including ­ for the first time ­ an opportunity for African artists to get their repertoire on the MTV service as well as the MTV base one.

Off-air, MTV plans to be more present on the ground in Africa, creating marketing activities, live events and activations. These include a new club concept - MTV base Club Nights - launching in July 2009, and the creation of a street team to represent MTV base at music events, parties and happenings and to act as MTV's 'eyes and ears' on the streets.

In the digital space MTVNA trying to increase its presence - having launched a dedicated website for Nickelodeon in May 2009, the network is in the process of redesigning the flagship site as well as launching dedicated mobisites for both Nickelodeon and MTV base - both of which will launch in July.

Distribution­wise, the networks aim to continue to grow distribution for its existing channel portfolio while exploring the possibility of introducing further thematic channels relevant for audiences in sub-Saharan Africa.

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