Friday, February 06, 2004

MTV SCREWS THE INDIES: BSk B cut the cash it paid to MTV for its channels; now MTV is trying to spread the pain on to the European indie sector, trying to cut the Video Performance Limited negotiating group out of negotiations to set a new rate with labels for the videos they play.

MTV is keen to try and deal direct with the labels themselves because VPL has rejected their offer for the next five years - GBP840,000 a year to be shared amongst thousand of labels. At the moment, MTV is paying GBP1.9million. At the same time, the company has launched a slew of new channels and are, in effect, offering much less cash for a lot more 'content'.

An example of the impact on smaller labels? Telstar was getting a thousand a year for all the stuff they provided for the networks - we work that out to be less than tenpence for each showing of Craig David; now they'd be looking at something like three hundred quid.

But it's hard to see how MTV can afford to piss off the indies - while MTV proper hardly shows anything worth watching at all these days, and virtually no music, and MTV Hits could probably survive on a deal with majors alone, if you cut out the indie sector some of the channels are going to look rather pisspoor - MTV2, MTV Dance and VH2 need the credibile artists - a VPL blackout would take the prodigy and the white stripes off of MTV channels. And in the cut-throat music TV market in the UK, that's something that MTV surely wouldn't risk.

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