MTV mobilizes to cover VMAs


MTV is introducing a bevy of digital features to boost access and interactivity for viewers of this year's MTV Video Music Awards.

In a network first, MTV will air a live simulcast of the Sept. 9 broadcast through mobile partners Sprint TV — which has a sponsorship deal with the program — as well as Verizon Wireless and AT&T.

Meanwhile, MTV On Demand will offer instant updates on the awards show.

Online components include the creation of a virtual world based around the show as well as an initiative dubbed "The Viewer's Choice," which will use the votes of online users to determine which favorite moments and performances will be featured in later broadcasts set for Sept. 11, Sept. 13 and Sept. 15.

"This year, no matter where they turn — on television, online, on demand or wireless — viewers are surrounded by a completely fresh interactive VMA experience that will redefine the awards show," MTV president Christina Norman said.

Through MTV's sponsorship with Sprint, viewers will be able to use text messaging to determine the winner of the best new artist award minutes before it is announced. MTV Mobile also will feature red-carpet highlights and music videos from nominated artists.

Online viewers who log on to will be privy to behind-the-scenes footage from photo shoots with artists like Kanye West, while MTV On Demand will feature previous content from the VMAs along with two original specials, "MTVegas" and "100% Sweet."

With the "Virtual VMAs," such artists as Common and Gym Class Heroes will appear in the virtually re-created suites of Las Vegas' Palms Hotel, where the show will take place.