LAS VEGAS, Jan. 5, 2005 — Today at 2005 International CES, MTV Networks Inc. (MTVN), a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE:VIA and VIA.B), and Microsoft Corp. announced a strategic agreement to cooperate on several long-term digital media initiatives. The two companies will work together to create new ways for consumers to access MTVN entertainment programming and brands such as MTV, VH1, CMT and Comedy Central via a variety of digital entertainment products and platforms.
The alliance was announced at CES 2005 in Las Vegas, where Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft, and Judy McGrath, CEO and chairman of MTV Networks, addressed conference attendees.
“MTV Networks has become an entertainment leader by building successful brands and delivering compelling content to hundreds of millions of viewers,” said Gates. “We’re delighted it has chosen Microsoft technology to offer consumers their favorite programming wherever and whenever they want it.”
“We want our relationship with consumers to thrive on every platform, and that long-running relationship is at the heart of our great new opportunity with Microsoft. MTV Networks is always thrilled to associate with the best in class, and Microsoft is the perfect alliance for us to make,” said McGrath. “We are committed to being on the platforms where our young consumers are today, and will be in the future, whether it’s PC, mobile, portable device, Web or TV. Microsoft continues to innovate and change the game, and that’s a great environment for our content and our consumers.”
Specifically, MTVN will develop programming and entertainment offerings made available through multiple new distribution points, including a Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 Online Spotlight service; Portable Media Center downloadable microprogramming that includes news features, performances and other content; and a PlaysForSure-verified music service with portable subscription capabilities featured in Windows Media Player 10’s Digital Media Mall. With the support of Microsoft, MTVN will roll out these new digital entertainment offerings over the course of the year. Under the terms of the nonexclusive agreement, the two companies have also agreed to form a digital media strategy task force to identify new strategic opportunities and to collaborate on development of digital entertainment offerings, digital media co-marketing and new distribution initiatives.
Furthermore, MTVN will use Windows Media Audio and Video and Windows Media DRM 10 throughout MTV.com, VH1.com, CMT.com, ComedyCentral.com and MTVN’s forthcoming digital music service. In doing so, the companies will create an environment in which the broadest variety of digital devices and largest installed base of digital entertainment software are compatible with MTVN content experiences.
About MTV Networks
MTV Networks, a unit of Viacom International Inc. (NYSE: VIA, VIA.B), owns and operates the following television programming services MTV: MUSIC TELEVISION, MTV2, mtvU, NICKELODEON/NICK at Nite, Comedy Central, TV LAND, VH1, CMT, SPIKE TV, NOGGIN, LOGO, MTVN INTERNATIONAL and THE DIGITAL SUITE FROM MTV NETWORKS, a package of thirteen digital services, all of which are trademarks of MTV Networks. MTV Networks also has licensing agreements, joint ventures and syndication deals whereby all of its programming can be seen worldwide.
Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential.
Microsoft, Windows, PlaysForSure and Windows Media are either registered trademarks or trademarks of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.
If you are interested in viewing additional information on Microsoft, please visit the Microsoft Web page at http://www.microsoft.com/presspass on Microsoft’s corporate information pages. Web links, telephone numbers and titles were correct at time of publication, but may since have changed. For additional assistance, journalists and analysts may contact Microsoft’s Rapid Response Team or other appropriate contacts listed at http://www.microsoft .com/presspass/contactpr.asp .