MTV (UK and Ireland)

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MTV Logo 2010.svg
2011–present logo
Launched 1 July 1997
Owned by Viacom International Media Networks Europe
Picture format 576i (SDTV 16:9)
1080i (HDTV)
Audience share 0.22%
0.01% (+1) (May 2017 (2017-05), BARB)
Slogan Welcome to Fun
Country United Kingdom
Language English
Broadcast area United Kingdom and Ireland
Formerly called MTV: Music Television (1997–2007)
MTV One (2007–2009)
Sister channel(s)
Timeshift service MTV +1
Sky (UK) Channel 126 (SD/HD)
Channel 220 (SD)
Channel 270 (+1)
Sky (Ireland) Channel 126
Channel 220 (HD)
Channel 270 (+1)
Virgin Media Channel 134
Channel 183 (HD)
WightFibre Channel 92
Virgin Media Ireland Channel 701
BT Channel 309
Channel 371 (HD)
Freewire Channel 601
TalkTalk TV Channel 309
Plusnet Channel 309
Channel 371 (HD)
Streaming media
Sky Go Watch live (UK & Ireland only)
Now TV Watch live (UK and Ireland only)
Virgin TV Anywhere Watch live (UK only)

MTV UK is a general entertainment and (former) music channel operated by Viacom International Media Networks Europe, available in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

The channel was launched as part of MTV Networks Europe localisation 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 localisation 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,[1] and later Virgin Media.[2]

The channel is in over 10 million homes in the UK and Ireland.[3]

European version[edit]


From its inception MTV UK & Ireland served the countries Ireland and the United Kingdom. For a short period the channel was made available free-to-air in New Zealand between July 1997 to June 1998 under a special agreement between TVNZ and MTV Networks Europe. The channel was broadcast on analogue from the Astra 1A satellite as part of the Sky Multichannels subscription package. In April 2001, the channel became a digital only channel within the UK and Ireland. As of 2014, MTV is available within the United Kingdom on Virgin Media and Sky. Within the Republic of Ireland, MTV is available through Sky Ireland, Virgin Media Ireland, Vodafone TV and Eir TV.



1997-2007 and 2009-2011 logo.

MTV UK & Ireland was launched on 1 July 1997 as part of MTV Networks Europe's regionalisation strategy. MTV launched a UK specific channel to target existing competition within the market. MTV UK & Ireland launched with specialised 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.


In 2002, MTV began to air programming from MTV US, similar to other MTV channels in Europe. MTV began to drop some of its localised 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 regionalise its UK & Ireland feed to include a separate version for Ireland under the branding MTV Ireland.

In July 2007, MTV in the UK was renamed to 'MTV One' with a major new branding launching across most of the MTV channels. MTV2 was renamed 'MTV Two' to follow the consistent branding across the channels. Promotion started on 1 July 2007 under the title 'MTV New 22.07.07'.[4] The rebrand saw viewers engaging with the channel.[5] In early 2009, it was announced that MTV One would be rebranded as simply MTV and the one-hour timeshift MTV One +1 as MTV +1 on 1 July 2009.[6]

MTV One logo (22 July 2007 – 30 June 2009)

For most of 2008, MTV's main source of music video programming was based on its sister channels MTV Two, MTV Hits, MTV Dance, MTV Base and TMF. As of 2009 the only music based programming on MTV include MTV Push, MTV World Stage and MTV Iggy. These shows are produced by MTV Networks International and are shown on most MTV channels worldwide.

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.[7]

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.


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.[8] On 29 May 2013 MTV was moved to the entertainment section of Virgin Media's EPG on channel 134.[2]

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 Base, MTV Classic, MTV Dance, MTV Hits, MTV Music, MTV Rocks, VH1 and Viva all close down between 3am and 6am (excluding Christmas Day and New Year's Day). 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.[1]

In 2016, MTV started showing repeats of Big Brother UK in the UK, the day following its broadcast on Channel 5.

Presenters and VJs[edit]

Past presenters:


Homegrown shows[edit]

Pan-European shows[edit]

Former MTV UK & Ireland shows[edit]

Shows imported from MTV US[edit]

Other shows imported from US networks[edit]

Spin-off channels[edit]

MTV +1[edit]

Launched on 1 February 2008 at midday, this timeshift service of MTV replaced MTV Flux, which in turn had replaced VH2. Trailers for the channel had aired before and after the launch, highlighting the catch-up ability of the new channel. The channel was known as MTV One +1 between 1 February 2008 and 1 July 2009.

MTV HD[edit]

On 13 February 2012, a high-definition simulcast of MTV called MTV HD launched.[1]

MTV Base[edit]

MTV Base is the channel that plays hip hop, R&B and rap music as well as corresponding programming to those genres of music.

MTV Classic[edit]

MTV Classic is the channel that plays music from the 1960s through to the 1990s. The channel originally launched as VH1 Classic on 1 July 1999. On 1 March 2010, the channel was rebranded as MTV Classic.

MTV Dance[edit]

MTV Dance is the dedicated dance music channel with music videos and programming of underground and mainstream dance tracks.

MTV Hits[edit]

Launched on 1 May 2001, MTV Hits is a channel which plays chart music videos.

MTV Music[edit]

Launched on 1 February 2011 - MTV Music broadcasts non-stop music videos, live performances and artist interviews.[9]

MTV Rocks[edit]

MTV Rocks is a channel dedicated to alternative rock music, with other commercial mainstream music types found on MTV's other music channels. MTV Rocks was previously known as MTV Two and was replaced by MTV Rocks on 1 March 2010. MTV Two was previously MTV2 Europe and M2 respectively.


VH1 is a channel targeted at 25- to 44-year-olds playing chart and popular music from the 1970s to the present day. It also carries music programming and themed countdown shows from their US counterpart.

MTV Ireland[edit]

Launched on 22 February 2004 - MTV launched a separate channel for Ireland. The channels launched with the onscreen idents titled the 'MTV Sheep' campaign designed by Chemistry. The MTV Ireland feed allows air-time for local opt-outs for Irish adverts and localised sponsorship. Local programming includes MTV News and The Festival Show.

Defunct channels[edit]

MTV Extra[edit]

MTV Extra was launched in 1999 and was a mixture of music videos and repeats of MTV programming. Towards the end of the channel's life, programming was dropped and the channel showed solely music videos (under the "Pure Music" name), with MTV Dance in the evenings. MTV Dance was spun off into its own channel on 20 April 2001, and MTV Extra was renamed MTV Hits at 6am on 1 May 2001. MTV Extra is notable for being the only spin-off MTV channel to use the same song title graphics as its parent channel (although it had its own separate idents).


VH2 was launched in December 2003 and shown mainly music videos and live concerts. It focused on rock, indie and punk music and branded itself as 'the alternative to manufactured pop'. The channel closed on 1 August 2006 because the main source of income for the channel, ringtone advertising, had slowed down. MTV replaced VH2 with MTV Flux, which was in turn replaced with a timeshift version of MTV.

MTV Flux[edit]

Launched on 6 September 2006, MTV Flux allowed viewers to take "control" of the channel by sending in video clips to MTV Flux's website, and requesting music videos. It was replaced by MTV +1 on 1 February 2008, a timeshift service of MTV. MTV had announced that the "Flux" format would be integrated into its other channels, and so the website still remains.


TMF was launched as a Freeview channel on 30 October 2002 to fend off competition against EMAP's The Hits (now 4Music). It originally started as a non-stop music channel, although the channel featured more programming from MTV and its other sister channels from early 2004. The channel was replaced with Viva on 26 October 2009.


MTV2 was launched in 2002 replacing M2. The channel focused on rock and indie music and featured shows such as MTV2 Most Wanted and Gonzo. The channel was replaced with MTV Rocks on 1 March 2010.

MTV Shows[edit]

MTV's general entertainment channel featuring reruns and new episodes of MTV's reality shows. Formerly MTV R until 1 March 2010. The channel ceased operating from 1 February 2011. Its broadcast capacity was relocated to the Music section of the Sky guide for use as MTV Music.

MTV Live[edit]

Direct from Warsaw and broadcast throughout Europe, MTV Live is a 24-hour standard and high definition music and entertainment channel. The channel was rebranded from MTVNHD to MTV Live HD on 23 April 2012, gaining a standard definition simulcast at the same time. On 29 June 2016, MTV Live HD ceased broadcasting on Sky in the United Kingdom and Ireland but continues on Virgin Media.[1]


Launched on 26 October 2009, Viva was the new music and entertainment channel, which replaced TMF. The channel shown content from sister channels MTV and Comedy Central. As the only MTV channel sitting on the Freeview platform, it was MTV UK's highest-rating service. The channel unexpectedly closed on 31st January 2018.

MTV Love[edit]

On 31 January, the Viva channel on Sky was replaced by pop-up channel MTV Love, a service encrypted as part of the suite of MTV-branded music channels. On Virgin Media cable, a slate was added to the old Viva position, advising viewers to switch to 4Music (the other music channel available at the same package level) with MTV Love added as a new channel on 318. On Freeview 57, a slate informed viewers that Viva was no longer available on the platform, directing viewers to Viva's website; the Viva website had however been shut, and the URL redirected to the charts page on the MTV website. From 1 February, LCN 57 began carrying a part-time placeholder broadcast of 5Spike +1. The 5am-6pm hours previously used by Viva were released to extend 5USA +1 into daytime.[10] The final music video that was shown on Viva was Spice Girls' "Viva Forever"

The temporary Valentine's Day-focused MTV Love network replaced it on Sky and Virgin Media.

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Association Category Nominee(s) Result
2017 Diversity in Media Awards Broadcaster of the Year MTV (UK and Ireland) Nominated

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Revamp for MTV HD". Broadband TV News. 10 February 2012. 
  2. ^ a b White, Peter (31 May 2013). "Viacom carriage deal shakes up Virgin EPG". Broadcast. Retrieved 31 May 2013. 
  3. ^[permanent dead link]
  4. ^ [1] Archived 27 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ Fiona Ramsay, 18 August 2008, 3:45pm (18 August 2008). "4Music outstrips MTV One on debut - Media news". Media Week. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  6. ^ [2][dead link]
  7. ^ Rushton, Katherine (2 July 2009). "MTV retunes with more music and indies fund | News | Broadcast". Retrieved 31 August 2011. 
  8. ^ El-Husseini, Farid (30 August 2012). "From MTV to Sky Arts: The Long Term Value of EPG Prominence". FEH Media Insight. Retrieved 3 June 2013. 
  9. ^ Hot right now:    . "MTV To Launch Dedicated Music TV Channel". Gigwise. Retrieved 31 August 2011. 

External links[edit]