MTV(originally an initialism of Music Television) is an American pay television channel that serves as the flagship property of owner Viacom Media Networks (a division of Viacom) and is headquartered in New York City. The channel was launched on August 1, 1981,and originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys" (VJs).At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students.
Since its inception, MTV has toned down its music video programming significantly, and its programming now consists mainly of original reality, comedy and drama programming and some off-network syndicated programs and films, with limited music video programming in off-peak time periods. MTV had struggled with the secular decline of music-related subscription-based media. Its ratings had been said to be failing systematically, as younger viewers increasingly shift towards other media platforms, with yearly ratings drops as high as 29%; thus there was doubt of the lasting relevance of MTV towards young audiences.In April 2016, then-appointed MTV president Sean Atkins announced plans to restore music programming to the channel.Under current MTV president Chris McCarthy, reality programming has once again become prominent. Most days are filled with extensive repeat marathons of Ridiculousness,Catfish, and episodes from the Jersey Shore andTeen Mom franchises.
MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the U.S. and affiliated channels internationally, some of which have gone independent, with approximately 90.6 million American households in the United States receiving the channel as of January 2016.
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