MuchMusic USA Gains Signigicant Momentum In 2001 With Series Of Business And New Programming Developments In First Quarter


Bethpage, NY- Rainbow Media’s MuchMusic USA, the nation’s only independent music network, announced today several strategic business and programming developments including the signing of long-term MSO carriage agreements with Time Warner Cable and Adelphia Communications which will make the network available to more than 40 million homes by year-end 2001. MuchMusic also announced the launch of new viewer-driven original programming. Together, the announcements provide MuchMusic USA with significant momentum and position the network for further growth.

“MuchMusic USA is aggressively moving forward with distribution agreements, new viewer-driven programming and important relationships that will enhance our position as the only independent choice for music video viewers,” said Nora Ryan, General Manager of MuchMusic USA. “Our growth momentum reflects the strong demand for an alternative voice in music programming and MuchMusic USA’s ability to drive digital and high speed platforms.”

Distribution Agreements

MuchMusic USA announced that it will be available to more than 40 million homes through long-term MSO carriage agreements with Time Warner Cable and Adelphia Communications. As a result, MuchMusic USA becomes a part of nearly all of each operator’s digital basic packages.

These agreements are significant to MuchMusic USA by gaining viewers in the critical markets of Manhattan and Los Angeles. The network is currently being rolled out on Adelphia and Time Warner systems, with the Manhattan launch set for April 1st. MuchMusic USA is also available to viewers in a number of key cities across the country including: Atlanta, GA; Boston, MA; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Columbus, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Detroit, MI; Houston, TX; Miami, FL; Minneapolis, MN; New Orleans, LA; Orlando, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; San Francisco, CA; and Washington, DC.

“MuchMusic USA is focused on multi-platform, locally-driven content that supports operators’ goals within their markets,” said Ryan. “This is music television from the viewer, not the company. Viewers will participate in creating the voice and programming of the network, using the broadband tools provided by the cable operator.”

New Programming

MuchMusic USA will be launching a slate of new music programs in a variety of formats including a daily video block packaged with original programming and monthly concerts beginning Spring 2001. The cornerstone of this programming will be a daily block dedicated to new music and viewer participation. MuchMusic USA will give viewers increasing control over the Network’s programming, inviting them to interact with the network and each other. With the launch of these new “viewer driven” program blocks, MuchMusic USA will allow viewers increasing control over the network’s programming.

The new daily segment will allow viewers to vote online for their favorite emerging artists and have those videos played on-air. The MuchMusic USA community will take control using the latest interactive software tools supplied by the network. Accessed from the Web site, the new software enables the viewer to create videos for their favorite new artists’ music.

Coming this summer MuchMusic USA takes reality programming to the music video world and to the streets in Van Man. The premise of this new program is that MuchMusic USA viewers have taken full control. A renegade band of viewers hi-jack the airwaves, playing the best in underground music videos as they travel across the country in a custom van. They will roll from town to town telecasting their daring and outrageous exploits from the road onto the web and into the homes of viewers of MuchMusic USA.

Monthly Multi-platform Concert Series

As part of its enhanced programming offering, MuchMusic USA will host monthly concert events designed to exist on multiple platforms. Viewers will access exclusive concert footage via television, broadband platforms and performances specially packaged for VOD. This builds on the success of its live Hanson Concert for AT&T customers in Chicago in October 2000, in which on-line chats, behind the scenes footage via broadband and the concert telecast live from the House of Blues were all part of a strategy to cross promote the event on each platform. The live programming helped cable operators create consumer awareness of and demand for both digital television service and cable modems. Based on this success MuchMusic USA and AT&T will team up again in Boston later this year.

“MuchMusic USA is about empowering the viewers with more choice, more control,” said Norm Schoenfeld, Vice President of Programming for MuchMusic USA. “The beauty of these programs is that they are community driven and include short-form daily segments that are truly portable and deliverable across multiple platforms. These programs literally enable the viewer to control and create their own programming. No other network has taken this significant step.”

About MuchMusic USA

MuchMusic USA is the only independent music network, featuring music videos and live concerts in an all-music-all-the-time format. Beginning Spring 2001, the channel will feature viewer influenced and generated music programming. On MuchMusic USA, viewers voice their opinions, influence what’s on the air, participate in discovering new music and even create music video programming to air on the network.

About Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc.

Rainbow Media Holdings, Inc., a subsidiary of Cablevision Systems Corporation and NBC, is at the forefront of innovation in cable programming. Rainbow manages American Movie Classics, We: Women’s Entertainment, Bravo, The Independent Film Channel, MuchMusic USA, Rainbow Sports, News 12 Networks and MetroChannels as well as the Rainbow Advertising Sales Corporation and Rainbow Network Communications. In addition, Rainbow is a fifty-percent partner in Fox Sports Net.

Keith Cocozza
(516) 803-5141

Whit Clay