MTV is Launching a Nostalgic, '90s-Inspired Channel, MTV Classic

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MTV is going through a lot of rebranding, including a move towards vaporwave. Now, millennials are taking back MTV, or at least they’re getting MTV Classic, a rebrand of VH1 Classic featuring classic ‘90s and early-2000s TV shows and music videos.

“From Beavis & Butt-head to Laguna Beach, MTV’s programming vault is a music and pop culture goldmine with universal resonance,” said Sean Atkins, president of MTV in a statement to Rolling Stone. “MTV Classic gives audiences a modern and artful home for classic MTV programming and — alongside MTV, MTV2, MTV Live and mtvU — rounds out a diverse portfolio with music and youth culture at its core.”

This new channel is part of the five-year MTV Vault project, which aims to digitalize all of MTV’s shows and music videos from the last 35 years. “Much of the programming that airs on MTV Classic came from this project, and the channel will continue to provide a showcase for newly restored vault content,” said Erik Flannigan, MTV’s executive VP of music and events strategy and development to Vulture.

MTV Classic will premiere at 6 a.m. on Aug. 1, the 35th anniversary of when MTV began. The first hour of MTV Classic will mirror the first hour of programming released on MTV in 1981. It will also be live-streamed on Facebook on MTV’s Facebook page. Afterward, MTV Unplugged will be marathoned (including acts from Nirvana, Erykah Badu and Oasis), a Total Request Live documentary will play, and old animated series like Beavis and Butt-head, Daria and Aeon Flux will be broadcast.

MTV Classic has previously been tested in other countries, such as the U.K. MTV’s views from its target audience has been falling at an annual rate of 17 percent since 2011, leading to less advertising revenue, per Bloomberg. MTV Classic is likely a way to revive the network and bring its Netflix-watching viewers back. Watch the promo for MTV classic below.

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