MTV, Vice Partner For New Broadband Channel

MTV is launching a new broadband channel in partnership with magazine that promises "edgy and raw" programming aimed at the 18- to-34-year-old male audience. That's according to a blog post this week on the Web site of Internet video provider Brightcove, which is powering VBS.TV.

Brightcove has since taken down the Feb. 10 post and declined to comment on the project because VBS has not yet been formally launched. MTV also declined to comment. But the beta version of the site, www.vbs.tv, offers a slate of about a dozen shows that are heavy on live music videos and the underground cultural coverage for which Vice magazine is known.

The VBS media player takes the on-screen form of a widescreen TV against a white brick wall complete with an image of a remote control with buttons for selecting different VBS program categories including news, music and travel.

The "About" section on VBS boasts prominent independent film director Spike Jonze as its creative director, and modestly asserts that "VBS will exploit every utopian vision the Internet has thus far failed to live up to." It also states that video advertising on VBS is served by DoubleClick. But so far it appears there is little, if any, advertising on the site.

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It's not clear whether VBS would be linked directly to the MTV home page or any of its other online properties. The network already maintains roughly a dozen of its own broadband channels including Overdrive, VH1's VSpot, Comedy Central's MotherLoad and CMT's Loaded.

MTV announced this week that it would lay off 250 as it shifts resources increasingly to its online properties and new networks. As MTV expands its own digital entertainment offerings, parent Viacom is demanding that YouTube remove 100,000 video clips including material from MTV, Comedy Central and other networks.

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