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MTV rolls out HD channels as Roedy retires

MTV Networks International is ramping up its high definition plans with the launch of kids channel Nickelodeon HD in the UK and the global roll out of music channel MTVNHD. This comes as MTV Networks International boss Bill Roedy announced plans to retire.

The pay broadcaster is launching Nickelodeon HD in the UK in October after striking a carriage deal with pay TV operator BSkyB and it expects to launch it in a raft of other markets in 2011. This follows the successful launch of Comedy Central HD in the UK earlier this year.

The company is also rolling out MTVNHD, which airs series including MTV Unplugged, VH1 Storytellers and a number of events including MTV Europe Music Awards, in international markets. The channel, which launched in 2008 in Poland and Scandinavia and subsequently rolled out in France and some territories in Latin America, will now see launches in Russia, Israel and Brazil in 2011.

These deals come as Roedy, who was instrumental in the international roll out of MTV’s suite of channels, announces his retirement. The statement that went out to MTV staff noted: “As Chairman and CEO of MTV Networks International and Vice Chairman of MTV Networks, Bill has crisscrossed the planet, planting our flag on nearly every continent and spreading the gospel of quality, audience-first programming from Beijing, to Bangalore, to Buenos Aires and everywhere in between.”

“Bill was there when we flipped the switch and began our efforts to extend MTVN’s brands overseas. He led the charge in 1989 as Chief Executive and Managing Director of MTV Europe, our first international channel. Under his watch we have rolled out hundreds of channels around the world, each with its own local flavor, its own character and its own challenges,” it added.

Roedy will retire at the end of 2010.