What to expect from the new MTV Philippines

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Aug.1 saw the relaunch of a new MTVph, which will have new local content such as "MTV Fuel," a new lifestyle and culture show hosted by musician Jess Connelly (pictured). Photo from MTVPH/FACEBOOK

Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — If you grew up anywhere between the 1980s and the early 2000s, there’s a good chance that you referred to music videos by the generonym “MTV,” as in, “Have you seen Beyonce’s new MTV for ‘Crazy in Love’?”

With a 20-year margin like that, there’s no denying that the iconic channel, which stands for Music Television, has had an impact on youth and pop culture that’s been virtually unparalleled — so much so that its earliest viewers are sometimes categorized as the MTV generation. With influential VJs and the monopoly on the hottest singles and future icons of pop, eventually branching out to reality shows, scripted series, and game shows, MTV was basically social media before social media existed.  

Its first Philippine edition was launched in 2007 as MTV Philippines, and its roster of VJs included KC Montero, Sarah Meier, Cindy Kurleto, and Marc Abaya, while Donita Rose, G. Toengi, Francis M. were VJs for MTV Asia. The channel signed off in 2010 and was brought back four years later as MTV Pinoy.

MTV.jpg MTVph will have all-new local shows such as “Daily Dose,” MTVph’s block of newest local and international hits; “Injected,” a segment show that covers events and features interviews with personalities; and the upcoming “Homegrown,” which features all-OPM videos. Photo from MTVPH/FACEBOOK

Early this year, MTV Pinoy also went defunct and switched back to the MTV Asia programming. The channel’s 36th anniversary on Aug. 1, however, saw the launch of the all-new MTVph, a partnership between Viacom and Solar Entertainment, promising not only a return to form as the authoritative voice of pop culture, but also a focus on Filipino music and entertainment.

Joining MTV Asia’s music video blocks are reality shows like “Catfish” and “Ex on the Beach,” as well as classics like “Pimp My Ride,” “My Super Sweet 16,” “Punk’d” (a show that became the basis of another generonym, wherein “punked” became slang for being the victim of a prank), as well as classic MTV animated series “Daria,” and “Beavis and Butt-Head.” There will also be coverage and airings of live events, and newer scripted shows such as “Scream,” the critically acclaimed “Sweet/Vicious,and “The Shannara Chronicles.”

On the local side, there’s “Daily Dose,” MTVph’s block of newest local and international hits; “Injected,” a segment show that covers events and features interviews with personalities; and the upcoming “Homegrown,” which features all-OPM videos as part of the channel’s aim to highlight localized content.

Finally, there’s “MTV Fuel,” hosted by musician Jess Connelly, which presents the latest in music, fashion, pop culture, and more. “It's exciting,” says Connelly of her new title as MTV Buddy. “This is a new chapter for me, something new I'm also experiencing. And I'm excited to bring my flavor into it. We're going to have fun.”

CNN Philippines Life sat down with Cesar Emaas, Jr., network brand and operations head of Solar Entertainment, to discuss what’s new with MTVph, staying true to the MTV brand, and introducing the legendary music channel once more to Filipino viewers. Below are edited excerpts from the interview.

What can you tell us about the new content on MTVph?

It's going to be more revolutionary. We will be showcasing a different [side of MTV] compared to the Asian brand. We're looking at fusing content that have never been shown in Asia, like “16 and Pregnant.” I think it's a bit more sensitive in the Asian market, but here, I think, it's going to be more relevant for the young people. We'll also be [gearing it more towards] local content. We'll be more immersed in the local scene.

What makes Jess Connelly the perfect choice to be the first MTV Buddy?

She totally embodies the definition of being young. She's very fun, she's a musician, and I think she speaks her mind.

What identity does the new MTVph have, and how do you plan to stay true to the MTV brand?

We wanted to show the real meaning of MTV and create a version for the Filipinos, to show real life experiences of the young viewers. It's more fun, young, [and] real. [It’s] more of the authenticity that we're trying to build on. That's why we called it MTVph, with [the latter two letters in lowercase], because we knew that Filipinos today are into shorthand. We wanted to embody that kind of fun vibe.

Thirty years ago, video killed the radio star. Do you think that music videos still have the power to usher in a new kind of entertainment?

Yes, of course. We still believe that. But the change is that there are different mediums now, or ways for them to enjoy these videos. That's the part that [we're] trying to stay on top of and update, so we'll also [produce content] online, and on other digital platforms.

In reintroducing MTV to yet another new generation, what goals are you hoping to accomplish?

It has always been a mantra for MTV to stay young, and not to grow old. So we've always been hoping to stay on top of trends in music and pop culture, to relate to viewers and to always be relevant.

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MTVph is on Cignal (Channel 11), Skycable (Channel 71), Cablelink (Channel 2), Cablelink Digital (Channel 100), Dream Satelite (Channel 9), and Destiny Cable (Channel 71). Visit the official Facebook page for more details.