MTV Networks International: Localizing Globally

MTV Networks International: Localizing Globally
Case Code: BSTR236
Case Length: 13 Pages
Period: 1987-2006
Pub Date: 2006
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.300
Organization: MTV Networks
Industry: Media, Entertainment and Gaming
Countries: USA
Themes: Globalization
MTV Networks International: Localizing Globally
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


MTV International (MTVI) was the first major international television network to broadcast its channels in regional languages around the world. MTVI was first launched in Europe in 1987, and later expanded to many countries. In the 1990s the network realized the importance of a 'region-centric' approach, and launched localized versions of its channels in regional languages.

As of mid-2006, MTVI reached an audience of over one billion, and operated around 130 channels in more than 25 languages. In addition to the television channels, the network operated broadband services and about 130 websites. MTVI adopted the policy of "Think Globally, Act Locally".

The network not only launched localized versions of its channels, but also acquired several local channels in the countries in which it operated. This case discusses the localization strategies adopted by MTVI to expand globally. It also talks about the shift in MTV's target audience's preferences from television to online media. It concludes with a discussion on whether MTV can reinvent itself to maintain its relevance to the youth audience, and how the company can meet the challenges posed by emerging media.


The case is structured to achieve the following teaching objectives

  • To understand the role and importance of localization to global companies
  • To analyze the localization strategies adopted by a major media company, in its global expansion
  • To study the impact of language and culture on a media company's global expansion
  • To analyze the impact of emerging media like the Internet on traditional media



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