entertainment, music, Philippines, television, United States

When MTV Ruled the Philippines

MTV Philippines

Before MYX came along, there was MTV, a network focused only on music videos.

Before MYX became the ultimate destination for local and foreign music videos, Filipinos tuned in to MTV. Originally a block-timer with Studio 23 in the late 1990s, MTV spun off in 2001 and took over full-time on Channel 41 through the Nation Broadcasting Company. This forced ABS-CBN to make a channel of their own, which eventually became MYX. Soon after viewership on MTV Philippines grew, in large part to charismatic VJs such as KC Montero, Sarah Meier and Belinda Panelo.

MTV Philippines prospered thanks to its broadcast of major events such as the Video Music Awards, MTV Movie Awards, MTV Asia Awards, and the MTV Pilipinas Awards. But more than just music videos, MTV also provided both animated and live action programs produced by the US MTV. In addition, MTV Philippines also launched the VJ Hunt, where they search for potential talent for future shows. The popularity of MTV in the Philippines proved to be final nail in the coffin of Channel V Philippines, and the then-GMA owned network was cancelled midway through 2001.

Unfortunately, the popularity of YouTube and the widespread availability of MYX in the country would doom MTV Philippines, and in 2007 free TV broadcast of MTV Philippines was shut down by NBC. MTV Philippines continued to air on cable until 2010, when it was shut down for good in favor of MTV Southeast Asia. The closure of MTV in the Philippines coincided with the shift of MTV’s content in the US, where less music videos were aired in favor of more original programming, such as Jersey Shore.

Despite the demise of MTV, it remained influential to many Filipinos. MTV was the first full-time network in the country to air music videos on most hours, in order to promote an artist or band’s work. It also introduced Filipinos to the video jockey or VJ, and their exposure to television helped them land more lucrative hosting jobs elsewhere. MTV also provided directors an opportunity to learn their craft, and in doing so, helped them earn praise and adulation from viewers. Finally the content aired on MTV was essential in exposing the viewer to the realms of adult reality television, helping it stand out from others.

While MTV is gone, it will never be forgotten. MTV proved to be a standardbearer for all music channels. And if not for MTV, MYX would not have become a preeminent music video channel it is today.

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