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MTV (originally an initialism of Music Television) is an American pay television channel launched on August 1, 1981 based in New York City that serves as the flagship property of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom headquartered in New York City.
MTV originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as “video jockeys” (VJs), but in the years since its inception, the network significantly toned down its focus on music in favor of original reality programming targeting teenagers and young adults. Despite its success, the network’s programming and influence have been the subject of controversy over the years.
MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the U.S. and affiliated channels internationally, some of which have gone independent, with approximately 90.6 million American households in the United States receiving the channel as of January 2016.