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New MTV Channel Spotlights College Rock Bands

When you’ve had enough studying, flirting and fraternizing at your college, MTV hopes you’ll tune into its rock and roll music on a revamped channel for universities.

Music channel MTV said on Thursday its mtvU venture would be dedicated to U.S. campus life, with new programing starting Jan. 20.

The 24-hour channel, an overhaul of the College Television Network bought by MTV in 2002, can be seen at 720 colleges in dormitories, dining halls and gyms.

“Because this audience is constantly experimenting, we needed to be a laboratory,” for new music and trends, said Stephen Friedman, general manager of mtvU.

Friedman said the channel would feature not-yet-famous young musicians and bands popular with 18-24 year-old students, regular news updates and programs on such topics as job-hunting and dating.

The programing will take into account students’ input from a related Web site, while mtvU “video jockeys” will canvass campuses to report on what’s hot.

Friedman said the channel has signed on a number of advertisers, including companies like fried-chicken chain KFC and Bugle Boy jeans, who would not regularly market on MTV’s flagship channel. Other advertisers include Procter & Gamble and General Motors, he said.

MTV, a unit of Viacom, seeks to eventually broadcast its college channel at 850 schools, reaching 7 million students, he said.

 
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