Viacom announces online video plan for MTV Networks shows

Posted by Mark Raby

New York (NY) - MTV Networks announced today that it will launch two dozen new websites targeted at letting users view clips from shows like The Daily Show and The Sarah Silverman Program.

MTV will launch separate websites for each show, totaling an initial 24 different sites.  It will be more than just an official place to view MTV content, though.  According to the entertainment giant the sites will have multiple levels of user involvement.

"Our viewers become producers, consumers and participants because we let them cast themselves online for our TV shows, upload content and videos, or actually become their favorite cast members through our virtual worlds," said MTVN digital media president Mika Salmi.

MTV Networks plans to pour in over $500 million over the next two years to get the project up and running.  For starters, it will devote websites to Comedy Central's The Daily Show and South Park, MTV's Dances From Tha Hood, and numerous shows from MTV Networks channels around the world.

Other shows will include Logo's Alien Boot Camp, Nickelodeon's iCarly, and Comedy Central's The Sarah Silverman Program.

A good chunk of the initial programming will be Web exclusive.  From Comedy Central, it plans to launch Jokes.com, an archive of stand-up comedy from the network.  Under the MTV brand, it will launch new websites for fashion and graphic design.  Finally, VH1Eyecandy.com will include nearly 5,000 hours of pop culture video, says MTV.

MTV's parent company Viacom has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against Google because it claims clips from these and other shows were illegally posted and maintained on YouTube.

Most of the new sites are planned to roll out in the last three months of the year, while some will launch in early 2008.