MTV Classic (Australia and New Zealand)

For other uses, see MTV Classic (disambiguation).
MTV Classic
MTV Classic logo
Launched 14 March 2004 (2004-03-14) (Australia)
1 June 2011 (2011-06-01) (New Zealand)
Closed 1 December 2015 (2015-12-01) (New Zealand)
1 April 2016 (2016-04-01) (Australia)
Owned by MTV Networks Australia
Picture format 576i (SDTV 16:9)
Slogan As Good as Ever
Country Australia
Language English
Broadcast area Australia
New Zealand
Formerly called VH1 (2004-2010)[1]
Replaced by MTV Dance (Foxtel only)
MTV Music (New Zealand only)
Sister channel(s) MTV
MTV Hits

MTV Classic (formerly VH1 Australia)[2] was an Australian and New Zealand subscription television music channel. The channel focused on music from the 1980s to 2000s.[3] The channel first launched in Australia on 22 April 1995 (as MuchMusic) and in New Zealand on 1 June 2011. On 1 July 2011 MTV International channels launched new logos [4]

The channel ultimately closed on 1 April 2016.


As MuchMusic

The channel launched as MuchMusic on Saturday 22 April 1995 along with Red.

As VH1

The channel first aired on Sunday 14 March 2004 when Foxtel launched its digital product and then on Austar and Optus shortly after.[5] In April 2006, Australian pay TV newcomer, SelecTV also began to carry VH1. In 2008 it began carriage on TransACT and Neighbourhood Cable. The channel although Australian run, mainly showed programming for the US and the UK with programs such as The Fabulous Life of... and the celebrity based documentary Driven. The VH1 Website officially launched on 3 August 2006. The website somewhat followed the format of the MTV Australia website. It contained a news section, competitions, features, info on new acts and more. It also has details on shows like Can't Get a Date. The website also provided an e-newsletter. The website was closed down in April 2007 for maintenance and was offline until November. In mid August 2009 the site was expanded from a single page to a mini-site on the MTV website.

On 25 November 2006 VH1 presented Australia's Favourite Lyric which presented a long list of songs on the VH1 website for viewers and industry members to vote. When the votes closed the list was made into a top 100 countdown and INXS took out the top spot with their song Never Tear Us Apart.[6][7]

Unlike sister channel MTV, the channel still aired a majority of music programming, with VH1 produced entertainment programming shown on MTV or other channels.[8]

Relaunch as MTV Classic

On 10 February 2010, the channel was announced via the MTV Australia website.[9] MTV Networks in Australia confirmed that VH1 receives fewer viewers each week than its sister channel MTV Australia. Part of the channel's launch included a music event which took the place of the annual MTV Australia Awards which was held in Melbourne at the Palace Theatre.[1][9][10] The event consisted of a line-up of local and international artists including former Guns N' Roses guitarist Slash.[11] "Video Killed the Radio Star" by The Buggles was the first music video to be played on the channel.

The channel was made available on Australian IPTV service Fetch TV from launch in June 2010.[12]

On 23 November 2010, MTV Classic began broadcasting in widescreen.

The channel launched in New Zealand on 1 June 2011 on Sky Television.[13]

Cessation of Service on Foxtel

On 29 October 2013, MTV announced they had been working with Foxtel since early 2013 to offer more diversity on the Foxtel platform, as MTV Classic and MTV Hits fought for the same audience as Foxtel Networks channels MAX and [V] Hits respectively.[14] The channel to replace MTV Classic is MTV Dance, a channel dedicated to dance, hip hop, and RnB music from around the world - MTV's first channel to be dedicated to three different genres of music.[14] Although MTV Classic and MTV Hits will no longer be available on Foxtel, they will continue to be offered by Australian IPTV service FetchTV and New Zealand pay TV provider Sky Television.[14][15] The changes took place on 3 December 2013.[16]

Closure of channel in New Zealand

On 1 December 2015, Sky Television replaced MTV Classic (and sister channel MTV Hits) with a localized version of MTV Music.[17][18]


On 28 February 2016, Fetch TV (the last carrier of MTV Classic) announced via their Facebook page that the channel would close on 1 April 2016.[19]


When the Channel first launched (as VH1) it employed 2 on-air talent but they later began running on mainly voice overs and guest presenters, the 2 hosts were: Zoe Sheridan: The glamorous and sexy side of the project who assisted in the production to Inside Track and David Campbell: The son of Australia Rock sensation Jimmy Barnes. David also had some chart success with his hit single "Hope" which sold well in Australia the US and The UK, he also was one of the faces of Inside Track until its cancellation.


MTV Classic airs a variety of artist related programmes as well as established MTV series. The channel aims at the age demographic of 24- to 40-year-olds.[20]

Original Programming

ARIA Hall of Fame

VH1 Australia have the rights to The ARIA Hall of Fame Awards show (aired on 20 August 2006). The Hall of Fame has been an important part of the ARIA Awards since 1988. Traditionally taking place during the ARIA Awards ceremony, a diverse range of artists have been inducted into the Hall of Fame including AC/DC, Dame Joan Sutherland, Olivia Newton-John, Johnny O'Keefe, Paul Kelly, John Farnham, INXS, Slim Dusty, Jimmy Little and many more.[21]

Other Programming

In addition to the above, the channel often screens music documentary and concert specials.

Former Programming

MTV Australia Video Music Awards

In March 2005 VH1 co-broadcast the MTV Australia Video Music Awards. As well as showing facts about the nominated artists, during this time, they also had a special award called the VH1 Music First Award which was awarded to Cher.

Inside Track

Inside Track featured new music and videos internationally and locally. So far the previous hosts have chatted with Jet, Darren Hayes, PJ Harvey, Lionel Richie, Olivia Newton-John and Chris Isaak.


  1. 1 2 Bulbeck, Pip (12 February 2010). "VH1 becomes MTV Classic in Australia". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  2. "MTV rebrands VH1, dumps awards night". Mediaspy. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  3. Brandle, Lars (12 February 2010). "MTV Australia To Replace VH1, 2010 Awards Off". Retrieved 13 February 2010.
  4. "The Branding Source: New logos: MTV international". 'The Branding Source'. Retrieved 2011-07-01.
  5. Eliezer, Christie (24 April 2004). "VH1 debuts down under: labels see marketing opportunity". Billboard. 116 (17): 49. ISSN 0006-2510.
  7. "INXS takes Oz's favourite lyric". 20 November 2006. Archived from the original on 6 September 2008.
  8. Murphy, Kerrie (9 August 2008). "Faded stars put their bad habits to the test". The Australian. News Limited. p. 30. Retrieved 27 February 2010. |section= ignored (help)
  9. 1 2 "New! 'MTV Classic'". 10 February 2010. Retrieved 12 February 2010.
  10. Knox, David (30 March 2010). "Slash to launch MTV Classic". Retrieved 5 April 2010.
  11. "Slash to launch MTV Classic Down Under". 29 March 2010. Retrieved 5 April 2010.
  12. "FetchTV announces Content Offering" (Press release). Fetch TV. 25 May 2010. Retrieved 23 November 2015.
  13. "MTV Classic New Zealand to launch on Sky TV". Throng. 7 March 2011. Retrieved 23 November 2015. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  14. 1 2 3 Reid, Poppy (29 October 2013). "EXCLUSIVE: MTV AUSTRALIA TO LAUNCH TWO NEW CHANNELS - MTV MUSIC AND MTV DANCE". The Music Network. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  15. "MTV Dance and MTV Music to hit Foxtel this December!". MTV Australia. 29 October 2013. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  16. Knox, David (1 November 2013). "Foxtel refreshes music channels". TV Tonight. Retrieved 1 November 2013.
  17. Sky TV (4 November 2015). "New channel alert! MTV NZ is mixing it up with the world's greatest music from the 90s to today - MTV Music launches 1 December on channel 022.". Facebook. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  18. "MTV Music". Sky TV. Retrieved 22 November 2015.
  19. Fetch TV (28 February 2016). "Get ready to laugh your face off.". Facebook. Retrieved 2 March 2016.
  20. "MTV rebrands VH1 to attract younger audience". Mumbrella. 12 February 2010. Retrieved 13 February 2010. |first1= missing |last1= in Authors list (help)
  21. "ARIAs Hall of Fame". Melbourne: The Age. 30 May 2005.
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