At a time when MTV is receiving their highest ratings ever, thanks to the Godfather of Heavy Metal, Ozzy Osbourne, the music network has made the controversial decision to replace their all hard rock and metal cable channel, MTVx with an all hip-hop channel called MTV Jams.
When MTVx hit the airwaves a couple of years ago, rock fans lucky enough to have the station on their local cable lineups were overjoyed because many felt that MTV had long ago relegated rock programming to the back of the line behind pop and hip-hop on their flagship station MTV. With the demise of MTVx, hard rock fans now have nowhere to turn for coverage of their favorite music. While pop and hip-hop have ample coverage on various cable stations like MTV, MTV2, BET, MuchMusic USA and now MTV Jams, rock is presented as something of an afterthought.
This change was part of a new “digital cable” package of stations MTV Networks launched earlier this month that also includes MTV Hits, MTV Jams, Nicktoons TV and VH1 Mega Hits.
When asked why MTVx was replaced by MTV Jams, MTV's president of affiliate sales and marketing Nicole Browning told Variety that MTVx was "too much of an alternative music head-banger" for cable operators and for many of MTV's digital subscribers.
In total MTV Networks delivers 13 digital stations, which also includes VH1 Classic, Noggin, Nickelodeon Games & Sports and MTV2.
Rant: And they wonder why their ratings as so low and the record industry is reporting record decline in CD sales? Could it be a result of “narrow-casting”? Maybe instead of cloning existing cable music offerings, they might try to diversify a bit? MTVx was never given a major push and few cable carriers picked up the digital station, but now digital cable subscribers will be offered several stations that are pretty much the same. Can someone tell us the difference between MTV Hits and VH1 Mega Hits is going to be? Sounds like these new music stations will pretty much follow the video programming of MTV, MTV2, BET and MuchMusicUSA.