‘MTV (initialism of Music Television) is a television channel launched on August 1, 1981, based in New York City, and a flagship property of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom headquartered in New York City.
MTV originally aired music videos as guided by television personalities known as “video jockeys” (VJs), but in the years since its inception, the network significantly toned down its focus on music in favor of original reality programming targeting teenagers and young adults.
MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the U.S. and affiliated channels internationally, some of which have gone independent, with approximately 90.6 million American households in the United States receiving the channel as of January 2016.
In 1984, the channel produced its first MTV Video Music Awards show, or VMAs. The first award show, in 1984, was punctuated by a live performance by Madonna of “Like A Virgin”. The statuettes that are handed out at the Video Music Awards are of the MTV moonman, the channel’s original image from its first broadcast in 1981. Presently, the Video Music Awards are MTV’s most watched annual event.