NEW YORK, Oct. 14 /PRNewswire/ -- MTV Networks and Microsoft Corp. announced the next phase of their ongoing partnership today, expanding the reach of the MTV Networks broadband channels into every room in the house through Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 PCs. With a Media Center Edition PC and an Xbox 360 game console or a Media Center Extender, users will have the ability to seamlessly switch between a standard TV experience and on demand broadband programming without ever leaving the couch. Broadband channel "MTV Overdrive" will debut on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 PCs beginning today. VH1's "VSpot," Comedy Central's soon to launch broadband channel, and the new "mtvU" broadband service will also debut on Media Center PCs early next year.
Each MTV Networks broadband service will revolutionize the digital entertainment experience for its respective audience -- delivering a vast catalog of content to Media Center Edition users including exclusive performances, regularly updated news features, show content, movie trailers, music videos, games, and much more. The broadband channels will be available through "Online Spotlight," a convenient, central location where customers can discover the latest software and services designed for Media Center customers including MTV and others.
"Our audiences want to connect with our content on every platform they interact with-linear television, broadband, online, radio, and now on PCs that run Windows XP Media Center. Today's announcement helps fulfill our multiplatform entertainment promise," said Van Toffler, President of MTV Networks Music, Films & Logo Group. "The distinction between TV and broadband programming is becoming less important to our viewers, and the Media Center Edition platform is helping to take the entire entertainment experience to the next level."
"Comedy Central viewers are by nature early adopters and avid users of advanced communications technologies and they expect to access our content when they want it, where they want it and how they want it," said Doug Herzog, President of Comedy Central. "Windows XP Media Center Edition will optimize our soon-to-launch broadband channel by providing our users a variety of gateways to access Comedy Central content whether it's short and long form video, audio or text."
"The Microsoft and MTV relationship will provide Media Center PC customers with a new level of entertainment," said Joe Belfiore, general manager, Windows Media Center. "MTV Networks provides hundreds of millions of viewers with compelling and innovative entertainment content every day. We are thrilled to have MTV choose Windows XP Media Center Edition to expand their service and offer customers' access to their favorite programming in new and innovative ways."
Media Center Edition PCs deliver advanced computing plus easy-to-use integrated digital entertainment -- live and recorded television, movies, music, photos and radio -- that you can enjoy when and how you want. All your digital media is in one place, accessible on either a PC monitor or TV display, using a single remote control. With Media Center Edition, you can pause and rewind live television or radio, digitally record an entire TV series or program category, watch DVDs and videos, organize and play your music collection, and showcase digital photos.
Since its launch online in April of this year, "MTV Overdrive" (overdrive.mtv.com) has received both critical and widespread acclaim as an industry leading broadband content provider. Most recently, "Overdrive" finished out Q3 with more than 47 million streams of music videos, MTV News, and companion programming content. Specifically, "Overdrive" delivered 13 million unique streams of its "My VMA" content during its 30 day-run, giving fans the opportunity to relive exclusive performances from the 2005 Video Music Awards, stream interviews with artists, and check out the VMA fashions from the white carpet. "MTV Overdrive" also premiered the next generation of MTV's famous performance series, "Unplugged" hosting the incomparable Alicia Keys. In just one week, "Overdrive" recorded over 1 million streams of the "Unplugged" performance, making it the most popular programming on the broadband network for that time period.
Launched in July of this year, VH1's broadband entertainment network Vspot (vspot.vh1.com) offers distinct channels of original and exclusive music and pop culture programming that allows VH1's upscale adult audience to take VH1 with them wherever they go. Vspot debuted with the first episode of the VH1 series "Surreal Life 5" three days before the series premiered on the VH1 linear network. Music artists sound off in original franchises such as "Artist 2 Artist" and "Take 2." In September, Vspot extended VH1's "Hip Hop Honors" event with elements such as "VIP Pass" which featured behind-the-scenes action hosted by MC Lyte and an exclusive performance on the "gold carpet" by artist David Banner -- all resulting in a six-fold increase in normal traffic.
mtvU www.mtvU.com, MTV's 24 hour college network, launched MTV Networks' first channel distributed in its entirety over broadband and streaming 24/7 on October 10th. Through non-stop streaming service that can be watched continuously, or by using unique on-demand capabilities empowering visitors to customize their experience, mtvU's broadband platform showcases a powerful line-up of original programming serving as a gateway to the latest new music, as well as a source for one of a kind student produced content that will drive and direct the network.
About MTV Networks:
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc., is one of the world's leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms. MTV Networks, with 100 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services -- MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 80 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed to empower people through great software -- any time, any place and on any device.