Sunday, June 09, 2002

BABY'S GOT A TEMPER: Almost by stealth, MTV2 is attempting to reposition itself as a commercial channel. Back when it was M2, and constructed by viewers, on the whole, we wondered how it was going to be justified at Viacom board meetings - "we broadcast 24 hours a day, and... uh, we don't make a penny off it." Over the last couple of years, it's started to change - rebadged MTV2, then dropping a lot of the segments programmed by viewers, and suddenly getting a lot more hard rocking. You suddenly got a lot less My Bloody Valentine, a lot more Limp Bizkit. Then it suddenly seemed they'd got some sort of bill, as they tried to tempt bands to advertise their gigs on the network. This didn't work - probably because they only promoted the opportunity on the channel itself - but the idea of a TV version of the Melody Maker's The Works is tantalising - bands looking for members could actually demonstrate quite how badly they need someone with a sense of rhythm; all those singers seeking bands could show why the solo career isn't the perfect route. Anyway, it all became academic because about a month ago, the rules of MTV2 changed again, and the full length version of the Nike Eric Cantona ad appeared. So unusual was this event that the word "advertisement" was superimposed over the whole event. It seemed that MTV2 was now prepared to be fucked up the ass by the beast of the free market. Only... nothing much has happened. The expected appearance of the Churchill nodding dog between Korn promos failed to materialise.
You wonder if MTV2 - having developed into little more than a "Don't watch Kerrang, watch this instead, stay in the MTV family" proposition - is running out of time and that Camden Lock is starting to question what exactly is in it for them. This week, it's started to look more likely. On Wednesday, the channel premiered the ho-hum-how-shocking Baby's Got A Temper video at 9 pm. And then played it over and over again till the following morning. Then they played every night at 9 pm - over and over again for an hour. Now, you might argue that when Britney released Opps..., you could be fairly certain that either MTV or VH1 would be playing it, and recently MTV Hits has appeared to have S Club Juniors on perpetual play, but this kind of block-booking of a single video is unprecedented. And, since the 'event' is so small (B-list band release another allegedly shocking video), you find yourself wondering: has MTV2 made a commercial pact at long last? And if so, is it worth saving a channel at the cost of its integrity? Of course, it might not be a payola deal, but if MTV2 really will play one track over and over for hours on end of its own volition - well, that might be even more depressing to contemplate...


1 comment:

Odd Feld said...

5 years later,MTV2 is still shite.
Thank fuck Limp Bizkit are gone though.

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