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MTV preps more Nick HD and Comedy Central rollouts

MTV will rollout the high definition version of its Nickelodeon kids channel throughout Europe next year and is looking to ramp up the distribution of its Comedy Central offering, Bob Bakish, president, MTV Networks International has told TBIvision.

MTV’s international HD channel, MTVNHD, will be in 30 countries by end-2010. So far blocks of Nickelodeon programming have aired on some of these, but the plan is now to roll out full-fledged Nick HD channels. The first of these launched on the BSkyB platform in the UK last week and HD kids series include Fanboy & Chum Chum, The Penguins of Madagascar and live-action shows include Big Time Rush and The Troop.

“As a pre-eminent brand it’s important we are at the top of the food chain, which today is HD,” Bakish said.”We have launched Nick HD in the UK, then it will be Europe in 2011 and then the rest of the world – there are a lot of large screens out there.”

Another channel that MTVNI is focusing on is Comedy Central.

“Comedy is our least distributed brand and you will see us track towards launching new services in 2011,” Bakish said, adding that a localised Turkish channel looks likely to launch. “We recently announced the upcoming launch of a localised Comedy Central service in Israel, which is due to hit airwaves on 1 January, and our next step is to explore the possibility of rolling out a localised Comedy Central service in Turkey where initial conversations are happening.”

Meanwhile, the MTVNI boss said the company was investigating 3D, but noted it does not offer the same opportunities as HD. He said:”3D is something we are looking at, but it’s not as much of a no-brainer as HD to be honest. It works on the film side, but on the TV side it is more demanding to watch. But there is interest from operators.”