MTV is an American basic cable and satellite television channel owned by the MTV Networks Music & Logo Group, a unit of the Viacom Media Networks division of Viacom. The channel itself is headquartered in Los Angeles, CA, and is a subsidiary of Viacom Inc. Launched on August 1, 1981, the original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by television personalities known as "video jockeys," or VJs. In its early years, MTV's main target demographic were young adults, but today, MTV's programming is primarily targeted at adolescents and teenagers.
MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the U.S. and affiliated channels internationally, some of which have gone independent. MTV's influence on its audience, including issues related to censorship and social activism, has been a subject of debate for years.
As of August 2013, approximately 97,654,000 American households receive MTV.