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MTV Australia is the Australian version of MTV (Music Television), a channel specialising in music and youth culture programming. It is operated by MTV Networks Australia and New Zealand owned by MTV Networks and primarily features imported shows as well as locally produced programming.


MTV on the Nine Network

The "MTV" brand was launched in Australia during April 1987 as a music program on the free-to-air Nine Network. The program was hosted by Richard Wilkins and aired late on Friday and Saturday nights for its full six year run . The program presented a mixture of music videos, artist interviews and music segments and relied heavily on imported American content. Unlike its Australian counterparts such as ABC TV's Rage and Network Ten's Video Hits, its focus was predominantly hard rock music and the program rarely played dance, rap or Rhythm and blues music. The program was discontinued in 1993 when Nine chose not to renew the licence with Viacom. Nine said the axing was due to high production and licensing costs.

ARC Music Television

ARC Music TV logo
"ARC Music Television", owned by Austereo, was launched three years after MTV ended on the Nine Network in 1996 in a joint venture with, then, music giant Austero and Village Roadshow through Optus Television to become a twenty-four hour music channel playing pop music and airing original programming. After a year on the air the network was approached by MTV Networks in the USmarker and through a deal once again with Austereo, Village Roadshow Entertainment and Optus vision to re-brand the channel ARC as MTV Australia.

The re-launch of MTV Australia

Five months after the initial announcement of ARC's re-branding MTV Australia was officially re-launched on Optus Television on March 20, 1997. Later the channel broke away to become a wholly owned subsidiary of MTV Networks. The channel originally produced local programmes but due to cost cutting the channel began to show mostly American content.

In 2002 MTV was added to the Foxtel platform and added in 2004 to the Austar platform. In the same year the channel set up MTV Networks Australia, which began work on launching its own original programming with the launch of the Australian Version of the hit American show TRL on September 10, 2004 with host Kyle Sandilands from 2day fm. MTV Networks Australia launched sister channel Vh1 on March 14, 2004 when cable company Foxtel launched its digital network. .In 2005 MTV premiered more original programming with MTV Full Tank and on March 3 MTV launched the first inaugural MTV Australia Video Music Awards at Luna Park'smarker Big Top with hosts The Osbournes. At the end of 2006 it was announced that MTV would premiere its latest original show, MTV's The Lair which premiered on January 26, 2007 and is aired live every Thursday at the Metro Theatremarker. At the beginning of 2007 MTV re-located its head office from Rydemarker to Yurong St in East Sydneymarker THEMUSIC.COM.AU. MTV/VH1 MOVES THEMUSIC.COM.AU. Accessed May 4, 2008. In April MTV Networks Australia launched TMF Australia on the Optus Cable Service .

Presenters and VJ's

Current VJs

Current VJs include:
  • Maz Compton, 25. Joined MTV Australia in 2005, as a host of TRL Australia.
  • Darren McMullen, 29. Hosts the live music show The Lair.
  • Ruby Rose (born Ruby Rose Langenheim), 23. Was hired through the 2007 VJ search. Actually has appeared on air very little since her appointment, due to other commitments.

Past VJs

  • Richard Wilkins
  • Alison Drower
  • Verushka Darling. Hosted Verushka's Closet from 1999 to late 2004. Verushka made history by not only being the first Drag Queen VJ in Australia, but also the first to have their own national show. Verushka now works behind the camera as promo producer for VH1, copywriter for MTV, VH1 and Overdrive, as well as script writer for the AVMAs and other longform shows.
  • Yvette Duncan. The original MTV Australia VJ. Started in 1996 hosting MTV Most Wanted. Left MTV when Most Wanted was replaced with TRL Australia.
  • Mike Fitzpatrick'. Radio host of the Triple M breakfast show The Cage. In 1999 he hosted the Australian version of Video ClichĂ©s. Was also the host of Pepsi Taste of Summer in 2000 and fill in host of MTV Most Wanted.
  • Matt Heinze. Host of The Week That Is in 2003-2004.
  • Natalie Michaels. Host of Super Sylin’. Left for Sky News Australia in 2005.
  • Caleb Packham. Presenter of the Oz Countdown and later host of weekend breakfast show Mad 4 Hits. Left for Channel Nine.
  • Kyle Sandilands. Radio host for the Austereo network. Originally joined in 2005 for TRL Australia. Later left the channel when he became a judge for Australian Idol.
  • Christine and Sharon Muscat'. Hosted Australia Top 30 Show.
  • Natasha Zuvela'. 2000-2002 (MTV News and Australian Top 30 presenter)
  • Lyndsey Rodrigues', 26. Joined MTV Australia in 2005. She left Australia in summer 2007 to temporary co-host the states version TRL. She is now the permanent co-host of the USA version along with Damien Fahey .
  • Jason Dundas, 23. Was hired through the 2003 VJ search . In 2007 he left the channel and joined the show Getaway on the Nine Network .
  • Nathan Sapsford, 28. Also joined MTV in 2005, host of TRL Australia. In 2007 he signed on to Video Hits on Network Ten .

Programming and Schedule

Most of the channel's programming is sourced from MTV USA, MTV Europe and from other content providers within the Viacom/MTV Networks family. This includes entertainment programs popular in the US such as Pimp My Ride, Life of Ryan, Laguna Beachmarker/The Hills, and Room Raiders. Frequently the channel features themed programme blocks and "marathons" on weekends, featuring an entire season of a particular show played over several hours.

MTV Australia's flagship programme is a locally produced, original format, called The Lair - which attracts the very best music talent to perform live. Stadium acts such as Evanescence rock out next to unsigned breaking bands from around the Australian music scene.

MTV Australia's main content neither represents or willingly supports the Australian music industry. MTV Australia's content has been very influential to the success of many teen stars and pop groups, many of whom would never tour Australia. The music content is very small compared to the origins of the MTV network, now with shows like Pimp my ride. Live at the Chapel series has not been shown to the public on a prime time schedule, which supports Australian singer-songwriters.

Since mid 2009, the channel has moved to an entertainment programming focus over music. Exclusive specialised music shows that still frequent the channel are 'Making the Video', 'MTV Live' concerts and 'Kickin' It', where specific bands or artists host their own half an hour on the channel. ARIA and MTV Networks Australia made an exclusive partnership that would see MTV gain exclusive Pay TV rights to ARIA key events and properties and on February 20, 2008 the ARIA Charts Show was laucnhed which features the countdown as well as interviews and reviews .

Imported programmes

Local programmes

  • Fan vs. Band
  • MTV News
  • MTV's Official Motorola ARIA Chart Show
  • MTV's The Lair
  • My Pix
  • Vodafone Live At The Chapel

Defunct Shows


MTV Australia was originally only available through the Optus Television service (previously Optus Vision). This exclusivity deal was dropped in late 2002 and in 2003 MTV became available in a premium package on the Foxtel subscription TV platform. Around this time the channel also became available on the Austar platform.

Currently MTV is carried by all pay TV providers. It is available as a basic channel on Optus Television (cable), SelecTV, Foxtel (cable and satellite) and Austar (regional satellite only). Select areas of New South Walesmarker & Victoriamarker can receive MTV Australia via Neighbourhood Cable.

Other projects

MTV Australia Awards

In 2005 MTV Australia launched the first ever MTV Australia Video Music Awards (Now known as the MTV Australia Awards), based on the VMA awards format used in Europe and the US. It was held at Luna Park in Sydneymarker. Following suit with the location, the AVMAs had a circus theme and was hosted by various members of the Osbourne family. The awards ceremony included many international and local guests.


In a joint venture with Sony Ericsson and Optus, MTV launched the Optus ONE80PROJECT which was a competition for young writers, directors and producers to create a three minute pilot and script to be aired on TV, mobile phone and internet. The prize was an opportunity to work with the MTV production team to create full-length dramas to air on the MTV Network. The entries opened on September 11, 2006 and closed on 24 November 2006 and the voting then commenced on 1 December 2006 and closed on 26 January 2007. The voting consisted of Viewers Choice and Judges Choice. The winners were announced on 7 February 2007 with The Viewers Choice going to Ben Briand for Hammer Bay and the Judges Choice going to Karl Mather and Zenon Kohler for Takoyaki City. In 2007 the competition ran again with the winners announced on January 28, 2008 at the ONE80PROJECT festival screening at Harmony Park in Surry Hills. The Viewers Choice Award went to Kade Robinson for Generation When and the Judges Choice went to Sarah Daggar-Nickson and Scott Otto Anderson for their co-production Dream Life. The 2008 competition is currently underway with winners to be announced early 2009.


"Vote for Snoop" Campaign

In 2007 rapper Snoop Dogg was to attend the MTV Australia Video Music Awards 2007 as a co-host on April 29 but a few days prior to the event it was announced that Immigration Minister Kevin Andrews would not grant him a Visa into the country because of past criminal convictions overseas Who put the Dogg out? Accessed July 27, 2008. In response MTV Australia organised the "Vote for Snoop" campaign through MySpace which contained videos talking about how much he wants to become an Australian citizen in different situations MySpace users in push to let the Dogg in Accessed July 27, 2008.

Links with Terrestrial Television

Occasionally Australian terrestrial (free to air) television stations look at the success of shows on MTV before purchasing them for broadcast. In particular, Network Ten who purchased broadcast rights to The Osbournes from MTV Networks. Ten was required to wait until the show had aired on MTV Australia before broadcasting on their own channel. Later Ten purchased rights to Jackass, Pimp My Ride and Laguna Beachmarker.

Public broadcaster ABCmarker also purchased the rights to animation Daria, which airs during its children's programming slot.

As of 2009 programmes from MTV Networks are being screened on the Nine Network Channel GO!. The Hills is currently being broadcast on the channel.


The MTV Australia website has had a turbulent past. It was originally hosted without a domain name by Village Roadshow. It gained a domain name in 1998 as The website was very basic and only included information about MTV Unplugged and the American VMA. In 1999 the website seemed to have been abandoned completely. In 2000 the website simply redirected to the American MTV site before the domain expired and was locked by a holding company. With MTV's expansion in 2003 the site was revived but pointed towards the MTV Asia Awards. A proper MTV Australia website was launched in 2004 and has since gone through several redesigns. Mini sites for TRL Australia and the AVMAs were also set up.

The site was redesigned in 2007 and free broadband video channel MTV Overdrive launched on April 19, 2007 to coincide with the MTV Australia Video Music Awards 2007, which the Overdrive Channel is only available throughout the territory.

In 2009 the website was re-designed and now mimics


  1. Today Show on NineMSN. Richard Wilkins biography NineMSN. Accessed August 18, 2008
  2. MTV: Music Television returns to Australia; 24-hour service to launch on Optus Vision
  3. MTV Global Face Sheet
  4. SATKurier. Launch of VH1 Australia SATKurier. Accessed April 28, 2008
  5. Ruby Rose - MTV VJ}
  6. Fitzy
  7. Natasha Zuvela
  8. The Daily Telegraph. Lyndsey Rodrigues The Daily Telegraph. Accessed May 4, 2008
  9. The Sunday Telegraph. From obscurity to top veejay The Sunday Telegraph. Accessed May 4, 2008
  10. The Age. All change The Age. Accessed May 4, 2008
  11. NEWS. Nathan a Video hit NEWS. Accessed May 4, 2008
  12. The Scoop. ARIA & MTV JOIN FORCES The Scoop. Accessed April 28, 2008
  13. Faster Louder. MTV and ARIA partnership announced Faster Louder. Accessed April 28, 2008
  14. MTV Australia

See also

External links

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