MTV and Viacom Announce Alliance

MTV, a division of Viacom Inc., and Midway Games Inc. announced a collaboration which will allow MTV to sell in-game advertising and lead soundtrack development for three of Midway’s upcoming games. MTV is also able to participate in a royalty sharing structure in this new relationship. Specific financial terms were not disclosed.

This holiday season, the first title, L.A. Rush, will be debuted. L.A. Rush is a high stakes arcade racing game (remember San Francisco Rush?). The soundtrack will contain over 75 songs from over 20 artists including Twista, Lil’ Kim, Big Boi and DJ Rap. West Coast Customs, the crew from MTV’s hit show "Pimp My Ride" will create MTV branding to appear throughout the game.

"This unique alliance with Midway allows us to move beyond a traditional advertising relationship and become true partners in the success of these titles. We will integrate our expertise in music, television, and online media to help one of the video game industry’s top publishers deliver exciting, new, culturally resonant games," stated Jeff Yapp, EVP, MTV Networks Music and LOGO Enterprise Group.

"MTV is a key partner in terms of overall marketing reach; their programming truly defines pop culture worldwide. Together, we will work on finding innovative ways to integrate interactive entertainment, media and programming," commented David Zucker, president and CEO of Midway.

"I am delighted that Midway is the first to enter into this exciting new business model, which harnesses the power of MTV’s brands, intellectual property, and promotional engine to Midway’s top-rated games development and publishing abilities," agreed Sumner M. Redstone, Viacom chairman and CEO, who owns a majority of voting shares in both Viacom and MTV.

There is some skepticism over the merger though. Viacom’s stock hasn’t been doing well over the past few years (you can check them out on the New York Stock Exchange under VIA) and MTV has raised eyebrows with some of its production choices since revamping itself from a round-the-clock music video station to a major player in the cable industry. For example, no one has forgotten Justin and Janet’s infamous Super Bowl performance yet (an MTV production).

The next two games to appear under this alliance will be announced at a later date.

by lindsay
06/27/2005 12:00AM

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