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MTV is a 24-hour general entertainment channel operated by Viacom International Media Networks Europe, available in the United Kingdom andIreland. The channel was launched as part of MTV Networks Europe localization strategy in 1997. MTV UK (previously MTV UK & Ireland and MTV One) was launched on 1 July 1997. The channel was set up to provide audiences with local artists and more relevant music content. Prior to the localization of MTV in Europe, the region was served by MTV Europe which was launched on 1 August 1987. Since February 2011 MTV has been solely an entertainment channel and relocated to the entertainment section on Sky, and later Virgin Media. The channel is in over 10 million homes in the UK and Ireland.
History 1997–2001 MTV UK & Ireland was launched on 1 July 1997 as part of MTV Networks Europe's regionalization strategy. MTV launched a UK specific channel to target existing competition within the market. MTV UK & Ireland launched with specialized content of hit MTV Europe shows which included the Euro Top 20, MTV Select, MTV News, MTV News Weekend Edition, Non-Stop Hits, US Top 20 Hitlist UK, Stylissimo, The Big Picture, Up 4 It and The Lick. In 1999, MTV Networks Europe announced that it would expand its channel portfolio within the UK and Ireland. With the launch of Sky's new digital television platform MTV Networks Europe launched MTV Extra and MTV Base.
2002–2010 In 2002, MTV began to air programming from MTV US, similar to other MTV channels in Europe. MTV began to drop some of its localized programming in favour of MTV US shows. These shows included Jackass, Date My Mom and Dismissed. Despite targeted efforts to play certain types of music videos in limited rotation, MTV greatly reduced its overall rotation of music videos throughout the first decade of the 2000s. While music videos dominated the channel in early 2000-2002 the rate of music rotation declined rapidly. Similar trends are noted on other European MTV channels and other sister networks in the US. MTV Adria currently plays the most music of all MTV channels in Europe. In February 2004, MTV began to further regionalize its UK & Ireland feed to include a separate version for Ireland under the branding MTV Ireland. On 1 July 2009 MTV available in the UK and Ireland adopted MTV's global identity as part of MTV International. 64 MTV channels now share similar music and entertainment content and similar on-air and online branding. Part the rebrand saw a 50/50 balance in the number of music based programming and reality based TV series that air on the channels. From 2010, MTV increased its music output which has since been diluted by reality based television programmes. As part of a global strategy MTV music content with the launch of MTV World Stage and Friday Night Music, both shows helped to maintain MTV's audience figures.
2011–present On 1 February 2011, MTV removed all music from the channel and moved it to newly launched channel MTV Music; the only music that remains is the occasional MTV Most Wanted strand. The channel became a general entertainment channel and was moved to the entertainment section of Sky's EPG at channel 126, with MTV +1 moving to 160. The move resulted in an increase in the channel's audience share of nearly 150% in the 6 weeks after the change, while viewing was down nearly 20% on Virgin Media during the same period, where the channel had yet to move. On 29 May 2013 MTV was moved to the entertainment section of Virgin Media's EPG on channel 134. MTV was rebranded once again to the current logo on 1 July 2011, and began broadcasting in 16:9 widescreen at the same time. From 1 August 2011, MTV, MTV Rocks, MTV Dance, MTV Classic, MTV Music, MTV Base, MTV Hits, VH1 and Viva all close down between 3 am and 6 am (excluding Christmas Day and New Year's Day), ending the era of a 24-hour music channel, The unused hours are used for Teleshopping. A high-definition simulcast of MTV launched on 13 February 2012 on Sky in the UK and Ireland.