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MTV (originally an initialism of Music Television) is an American cable and satellite television channel owned by Viacom Media Networks (a division of Viacom) and headquartered in New York City.Launched on August 1, 1981, At first, MTV's main target demographic was young adults, but today it is primarily teenagers, particularly high school and college students.MTV has toned down its music video programming significantly in recent years, 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.It has also become involved in promoting left-wing political issues and progressive social causes.The network received criticism towards this change of focus, both by certain segments of its audience and musicians.MTV's influence on its audience, including issues involving censorship and social activism, has also been a subject of debate for several years.



Several earlier concepts for music video-based television programming had been around since the early 1960s.The Beatles had used music videos to promote their records starting in the mid-1960s.The creative use of music videos within their 1964 film A Hard Day's Night, particularly the performance of the song "Can't Buy Me Love", led MTV later on June 26, 1999, to honor the film's director Richard Lester with an award for "basically inventing the music video".In his book The Mason Williams FCC Rapport, author Mason Williams states that he pitched an idea to CBS for a television program that featured "video-radio", where disc jockeys would play avant-garde art pieces set to music.

CBS rejected the idea, but Williams premiered his own musical composition "Classical Gas" on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour, where he was head writer.

In 1970, Philadelphia-based disc jockey Bob Whitney created The Now Explosion, a television series filmed in Atlanta and broadcast in syndication to other local television stations throughout the United States.