MTV (originally an initialism of Music Television) is an American cable television channel. It was officially launched on August 1, 1981. Based in New York City, it serves as the flagship property of the MTV Entertainment Group, part of Paramount Media Networks, a division of Paramount Global.
The channel originally aired music videos and related programming as guided by television personalities known as video jockeys, or VJs. MTV is largely credited with being the catalyst that kickstarted the cable television revolution, as many U.S. consumers purchased cable packages for the sole purpose of watching MTV. It was one of the first American cable channels which was available in other countries and became a cult hit across the world. Other American corporations took notice and overwhelmingly dominated the cable television economy in the 1990s. MTV Animation became a major hit in the 1990s, with animated shows such as Daria (1997–2002) and Beavis and Butt-Head (1993–1997) instantly becoming cult classics. In the years since its inception, it significantly toned down its focus on music and animation in favor of reality TV programming for teenagers and young adults.
Since the late 2010s, MTV has devoted its programming schedule to select programs, primarily Ridiculousness, which in June 2020 aired "for 113 hours out of the network's entire 168-hour lineup".MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the United States and affiliated channels internationally, some of which have since gone independent. Approximately 90.6 million households in the US received MTV as of January 2017.

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