MTVU (formerly stylized as MtvU and mtvU) is an American digital cable television network owned by the Viacom Global Entertainment Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. The channel was first known as VH1 Uno from 2000 to 2004 before changing names when Viacom expanded MTVU programming beyond more than 750 college and university campuses across the United States, as part of internally originated cable systems that are a part of on-campus housing or college closed-circuit television systems to digital cable in all homes. In 2018, the MTV Networks on Campus group was sold by Viacom to Cheddar to launch CheddarU, but the digital cable channel remained to the public through digital cable. Music videos played on the channel primarily consist of indie rock, pop punk and hip-hop along with limited original programming. MTVU also formerly owned RateMyProfessors.com.
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MTV Networks' proposal for a channel targeting college students, tentatively called MTV University, became public in February 2002. According to The New York Times, the channel was seeking to compete with Burly Bear Network, which was available to 450 campuses and had been attracting nearly a million viewers a week, along with College Television Network (CTN) and the most recent entrant at the time, Zilo.
In February 2008, MTV Networks discontinued VH1 Uno, a sparsely viewed Spanish language music video channel, and replaced it with MTVU, to expand the channel into traditional cable distribution.
In May 2018, Cheddar TV acquired Viacom's MTV Networks on Campus; outlets associated with that service will be converted to carry CheddarU, a new secondary feed which will stream content from the flagship financial-news streaming service and segments from Cheddar Big News to 9 million students on more than 600 campuses; universities which previously screened MTV Networks on Campus will continue to receive CheddarU at no cost in exchange for access to the campus (the cable version of MTVU will continue without any changes). CheddarU is part of the ChedNet division of Cheddar, a division focusing on bringing the service to public screens such as gyms, bars, airports, hotel and other public venues.
According to its promotional materials from 2004 to 2018, MTVU broadcast exclusive content dedicated to aspects of college life, including music, news, and on-campus events. The channel was the first MTV network to stream all of its content online. On-campus events included the Campus Invasion tour, featuring up-and-coming bands; the GAME0Rz Ball tour, which brings new video games to campus; and Tailgate Tour, which provides MTVU with a presence at campus tailgates. MTVU shows included Dean's List, the MTVU Awards, and MTVU Spring Break.
Currently, MTVU plays a mix of music videos with an emphasis on emerging artists and short interestistial segments focusing on college life. Previously at each hour, MTVU broadcast news updates from ABC News and before that CBS News untillate 2006 in the wake of the Viacom/CBS split), including international news and college-related news. Twice an hour, MTV News once aired stories on subjects such as music downloading, and musical artists under promotion by MTVU.
Additionally, MTVU aired several original programs produced by and featuring college students. The Freshmen featured three rotating student panelists discussing new music videos and was hosted by Kim Stolz; Stand-In brought celebrities and intellectuals into college classrooms to teach for a day, and featured people as diverse as Nobel Laureates Elie Wiesel and Shimon Peres; Madonna; John McCain; Marilyn Manson; and Jhumpa Lahiri. It has also started a social networking site "Meet or Delete", along with Hewlett Packard.
MTVU formerly broadcast its own semi-annual awards show, the MTV Woodies, which it states recognizes "the music voted best by college students." Previous winners have included 2005's Death Cab for Cutie, Motion City Soundtrack, and The Afters; 2006 winners include Thirty Seconds to Mars, Plain White T's, mewithoutYou, The Subways and Gnarls Barkley. The 2006 ceremony was also notable for the altercation of Elijah Wood and Scott from the music blog Stereogum with Jared Leto. The 2008 awards had a huge fan voting for the Best Music On Campus award, where The Bride Wore Black won the award and Chasing Arrows came in right behind. Winners at the 2008 Woodie Awards included Paramore and There for Tomorrow. Winners at the 2009 Woodie Awards included Green Day, Kings of Leon, Matt & Kim, NeverShoutNever, Tech N9ne and Hotel of the Laughing Tree. Winners at the 2014 Woodie Awards include Beyoncé, Drake, Ed Sheeran, and Skrillex. Fall Out Boy will become the first inductees at "Hall of Wood" at the 2015 Woodie Awards. They had won the Streaming Woodie award for "Grand Theft Autumn" at the first ceremony in 2004.
The online game Darfur is Dying was developed as part of an MTVU contest, and other Sudan genocide coverage won MTVU two Emmys, including the 2006 Governors Award. Its Half of Us initiative won a Peabody Award in 2007 "for its extensive research and dedication to fighting depression and creating quick routes to convenient solutions." MTVU also provided grants for student activists, giving away $1,000 a week to various student groups. MTVU formerly co-sponsored the ecomagination Challenge with GE, which aimed to empower college students to solve environmental problems on campuses. MTVU also sponsored the Film Your Issue competition, a competition designed to encourage college-age filmmakers to make short political pieces, and aired the winners.
Other opportunities that MTVU provided for college students include Digital Incubator grants, which awarded students who are pioneering the future of broadband content, and the Student Filmmaker Award, which provided the winner with the chance to receive a development deal with MTVU and collect the award at the MTV Movie Awards. Besides these competitions, MTVU made efforts to use student work through its programming.
Woodie of the Year
Left Field Woodie
Welcome Back Woodie
Soundtrack of My Life Woodie
The Sophmore [sic] Jump Woodie
The Silent But Deadly Woodie
Best Video Woodie
Best Music On Campus Woodie
College Radio Woodie
EDM Effect Woodie
Tag Team Woodie
Branching Out Woodie
Chevrolet Sonic Collage Artist Woodie
Did it My Way Woodie
Best Collaboration Woodie
Woodie to Watch
Next Level Performance Woodie
Social Climber Woodie
Woodie Songwriter of the Year