RealTime IT News

Not The First Time For Virgin

The wireless carrier today said it would extend its existing relationship with both networks to provide Virgin Mobile users with access to music and entertainment programming from both MTV and Comedy Central.

Virgin Mobile will become an advertising sponsor for MTV's "Total Request Live," a music video spotlights show, and "Direct Effect," the network's hip-hop, rap and R&B party program, under terms of the agreement.

In addition, Virgin will be the exclusive wireless carrier for "Total Request Live" and "Direct Effect" branded mobile content, according to Virgin.

Each show also will showcase exclusive mobile content, such as on-air ringtone charts and live in-program voting sponsored by Virgin Mobile.

"The relationship between MTV and Virgin Mobile continues to grow and bring immense value to both parties -- and to our shared audiences," Dan Schulman, CEO of Virgin Mobile USA, said in a statement.

Virgin will continue to offer other non-exclusive mobile programming from MTV and from Comedy Central, including "Daily Show" headlines, Comedy Central's popular "Joke of the Day Alert" and more, the company said.

"In renewing this partnership, we're giving Virgin Mobile customers un-tethered access to two of our top music franchises -- and, in the process, setting the standard for seamless interaction with multi-platform programming," Christina Norman, MTV president, said in a statement.

MTV said it will build special WAP-based micro sites for Virgin Mobile users to access exclusive graphics, games, alerts and sweepstakes entries that will be promoted on both programs.

Virgin Mobile subscribers can continue to access the existing menu of MTV content via their handsets or online through MTV.com and virginmobileusa.com.

This new agreement builds upon a 2002 contract between MTV and Virgin that was signed with the launch of Virgin Mobile USA.

Under the terms, Virgin continue as the wireless sponsor for the MTV's Video Music Awards (VMAs). It will be the third consecutive year Virgin has been the official wireless sponsor of the VMAs.

"The relationship between MTV and Virgin Mobile continues to grow and bring immense value to both parties -- and to our shared audiences," Schulman said.

MTV inked another content deal last month as AOL expanded its video search engine capabilities to feature RSS feeds from MTV Networks' programming services.