MTV, formerly an acronym of Music Television, is an American network based in New York City that launched on August 1, 1981. The original purpose of the channel was to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs.
MTV has spawned numerous sister channels in the U.S. and affiliated channels internationally, some of which, like the former MTV Tempo now known as TEMPO Networks, have gone independent. MTV's moral influence on young people, including issues related to censorship and social activism, has been a subject of debate for years. MTV's choice to focus on non-music programming has also been contested relentlessly since the 1990s, demonstrating the channel's previous impact on popular culture.