MTV Networks International: Localizing Globally

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : BSTR236
Case Length : 13 Pages
Period : 1987-2006
Organization : MTV Networks
Pub Date : 2006
Teaching Note : Available
Countries : India, China, Japan, The UK, Italy, Australia
Themes: Globalization
Industry : Media, Entertainment, and Gaming

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"MTV is a global brand which thinks and acts locally. We reflect the taste and demands of our viewers and this differs in each market. Thus the need to create specific channels (in each country) that meet the needs of our target audience."1

- David Flack, Senior Vice President of MTV Asia's Creative and Content Division, in 2003.

"We came out of the gate intuitively thinking that you have to be local to connect with the audience. That it wasn't only about the language and the music, but sensibility...even though the brand can be the same everywhere."2

- Bill Roedy, President of MTV Networks International, in June 2005.

MTV Networks - Globetrotting

On August 18, 2006, MTV Networks International (MTVI) launched a 24-hour music channel called MTV New Zealand at an event held at Aotea Square in Auckland, New Zealand. The event also marked the re-launch of Nickelodeon3 in a localized format in New Zealand. Both the channels were to be available on Sky Television.4 The localized MTV New Zealand channel (which was expected to reach an estimated 650,000 homes) was to be a platform for musicians from the country to showcase their talent.5

MTVI, launched in 1987 in Europe, was the international arm of MTV Networks (MTVN), the largest media network in the world.

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MTVI, which included MTVN's core channel MTV and its sister channels outside the US, was growing at a rate of 20% annually, as of mid-2006. It was also the first international television network to broadcast channels in local languages with localized content in various countries around the world.6

In the 1990s, MTVI realized that to be successful globally, it had to adopt a 'region-centric' approach. Therefore, the network began operating localized versions of its channels in addition to acquiring local channels in many regions.

As of mid-2006, MTVI catered to an audience of more than one billion, and had a presence in 179 countries across Europe, Asia, Latin America, and Australia.7 Apart from its flagship channel MTV, it had a number of other channels in its portfolio. The network operated around 130 channels in more than 25 languages worldwide. In addition, it operated some broadband services and more than 130 websites.8

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1] Kenny Santana, "MTV Goes to Asia,"www.yaleglobal.yale.edu, August 12, 2003. (Accessed on September 23, 2006)

2] Greg Lindsay, "Viacom 2.0,"Fortune, June 23, 2005.

3] Nickelodeon, a part of MTVN, is a children's entertainment channel. Before the re-launch as a fully customized channel in New Zealand, the Asian version was aired on SKY Channel 42.

4] Sky Television is New Zealand's leading Pay TV operator, offering sports, movies, and general content in more than 80 channels across the country.

5] David Eames, "MTV Promises Wealth of NZ Music,"The New Zealand Herald, August 19, 2006.

6] Dirk Smillie, "Tuning in First Global TV Generation,"The Christian Science Monitor, June 4, 1997.

7] www.viacom.com/cable.jhtml (Accessed on October 3, 2006).

8] MTVI operated more than 130 websites of its international channels while MTVN, totally, operated more than 150 websites, which included online representations of channels broadcast in the US.

 

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