October 27, 2005: MTV Networks will launch “Tempo“, a Caribbean channel dedicated to popular and classic Caribbean music, entertainment and culture on November 21, 2005, with later plans for select U.S. markets in 2006.
It’s certainly been tried before: an all-Caribbean music, news and entertainment channel for everyone. Caribbean fare has always enjoyed a limited appeal, to the trendy, eclectic and, of course, the Caribbean diaspora scattered around the world.
With the infiltration of Caribbean influences in music, cuisine, drama, dance, literature, cinema, art, sports and other major aspects of our lives, it’s surprising that up until now, a major outlet has not made the move toward providing full-time coverage to the arts and entertainment world of the Caribbean. Enter MTV Networks, the providers of MTV (Music Television), VH1 (Video Hits 1) and CMT (Country Music Television).
“Video Killed the Radio Star”
Debuting in August of 1981, MTV has since changed the way we look at music (literally!). The inaugural music video, the Buggles’ “Video Killed the Radio Star”, was a rarity in its day, as very few artists had video to accompany their hits. Before this, live concert footage and performance tapes were used as “videos”, for the most part. The 1979 U.K. hit quickly began selling in U.S. record shops (with no radio airplay, so it was clear at the time that MTV had created this groundswell), and a phenom was born.
Since those early days, MTV continues as the industry leader, providing music news and entertainment via cable, Virgin Mobile and internet, with a full 22 distinct global sites online. Foreign distribution includes countries in Europe, Latin America, and Asia.
2½ Years in the Making
Would you believe it all started in legal? Frederick Morton, Jr., Esq, born in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands to Nevisian parents, is an attorney (Rutgers University, 1993) with a Masters in Public Administration (Columbia University) and a Bachelor of Arts (Rutgers College, Rutgers University) who just so happened to be in the legal division of MTV. He worked his way up through the ranks to become the Senior Vice President, Deputy General Counsel, Business and Legal Affairs for MTV networks. He pitched the idea of “Tempo” 2½ years ago, and leaned on it until it took. Finally given the green light, he has plunged himself into promoting the channel with a host of activities geared toward raising awareness. Finally, MTV is taking a step into the frontier of Caribbean entertainment with the new channel, “Tempo”. With the recognition of the Caribbean roots of diverse artists, from Harry Belafonte to Doug E. Fresh, “Tempo” will provide not only music videos, but comprehensive profiles and cultural retrospectives worthy of this vast body of art. Music will include Soca, Reggae, Dancehall, Reggaeton and Hip-Hop hits and classics.
MTV Wakes the Town and Tells the People!
Not content to rest on its laurels, MTV has offered real promotional support, aggressively marketing the grand opening of “Tempo” with a series of concerts throughout the Caribbean, an impressive showing at the 2005 Miami Carnival festivities, and a travel contest with partner American Airlines.
“Tempo” is set to debut November 21, 2005 in Caribbean markets, with later penetration of the continental United States set for the year 2006. If you’re not sure if your provider is locked in to this innovative programming, let them know today that you want “Tempo” on your TV!
Provided by MTV Networks: MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), is one of the world’s leading creators of programming and content across all media platforms.
MTV Networks, with more than 100 channels worldwide, owns and operates the following television programming services — MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, VH1, mtvU, NICKELODEON, NICK at NITE, COMEDY CENTRAL, TV LAND, SPIKE TV, CMT, NOGGIN, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of 13 digital services, all of these networks are trademarks of MTV Networks.
MTV Networks connects with its audiences through its robust consumer products businesses and its more than 90 interactive properties worldwide, including online, broadband, wireless and interactive television services and also has licensing agreements, joint ventures, and syndication deals whereby all of its programming services can be seen worldwide.
Web site: http://gottempo.com/
Lynne Davis/VH1, 212.846.5737 — Email: Lynne.DavisCorbin@mtvnmix.com
Toni Herron/VH1, 212.846.7528 — Email: Toni.Herron@vh1staff.com