History of MTV

MTV's origin dates back to 1977, when Warner Amex Cable (Warner Communications and American Express) started the first two-way interactive cable TV system, Qube, in Columbus, Ohio.

The Qube system proposed many specific channels, including a children's channel called Pinwheel which later became Nickelodeon. One of those channels was Sight On Sound, a music channel which translated concerts and music oriented TV programs; with the online Qube service, viewers had possibility to vote for their favorite artists.

The reputation of the channel stimulated Warner Amex to promote the channel nationally to other cable services. At midnight on August 1, 1981, the channel was reformated to music video and named "MTV—Music Television".

Accordingly, the first video clip featured on MTV was "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles, the first video featured on MTV Europe was "Money for Nothing," by Dire Straits, which begins with the line "I want my MTV," voiced by Sting.
A great number of rock artists of the 80s and 90s were renamed into household by MTV. First popular bands of 80s identifiable with MTV were Duran Duran and Bon Jovi. Michael Jackson started another wave of his career as an MTV main theme. Madonna became famous with MTV in 80s.

In 1984 the channel featured its first MTV Music Awards. MTV Networks produced a second channel, Video Hits 1 (VH1), in 1985. VH1 showed more well-known artist music videos than MTV. Today, MTV networks also own Nickelodeon - children's and family programming.

In 2004, MTV's controlling company Viacom bought Viva Media AG, as a result creating the largest company for music in Europe.