VH-1 (German TV channel)

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Picture format576i (4:3 SDTV)
OwnerMTV Networks International
Launched10 March 1995; 26 years ago (1995-03-10)
Closed1 May 2001; 20 years ago (2001-05-01)
Websitehttp://www.vh1.de (defunct)

VH-1 Deutschland (VH-1 Germany) was a localized German version of the Viacom channel VH1 that was on air from 1995 to 2001. The program was operated by Me, Myself & Eye Entertainment GmbH, the former editorial office of Tele 5's predecessor musicbox, in cooperation with MTV Networks Europe.

In contrast to the other language versions, VH-1 Deutschland had to use the January 1985 – 1987 American logo rather than the then-current logo of the American incarnation and consequently a different spelling, as the ARD saw too many parallels to its own logo in the original logo.[1]


VH-1 Deutschland started at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, 10 March 1995 for twelve hours a day. VH-1 used the programme-free time of the British Nickelodeon derivative on the Astra satellite system. In fact, VH-1 initially only broadcast a four-hour programme, which was repeated twice during the night. With the launch of the new Eutelsat Hot Bird 1 satellite at 13 degrees East in April of the same year, the programme was extended to 24 hours and converted into a full programme. The host of the first hour was Daniel Kovac. The first clip played was Musique Non Stop by Kraftwerk.[2]

As part of the encryption of MTV Europe on 1 July 1995, VH-1 also encrypted its signal on the Eutelsat satellite from that day. The remaining 12-hour programme window on ASTRA was switched off on the same day. From that day on, VH-1 could only be seen unencrypted in the cable network for a longer period of time.

The focus was on pop and rock video clips from the 1960s to the 1990s for an audience of 25 to 49 years old. In the initial phase, the programme included imported VH-1 formats such as Storytellers, Pop-Up Video and Behind the Music, concerts and recordings from the archive and broadcasts of live events such as the VH-1 Big In Award, as well as numerous self-produced formats with a relatively high standard of music journalism, such as the Musikalische Quintett. The host was Alan Bangs, further critics were Götz Alsmann and Heinz-Rudolf Kunze.

The VH-1DERLAND website (www.vh1.de) went online in 1995 when the programme was launched. It was the first website of a German television station. Curiously, the website went online a few days before the station.

In 1996, as a reaction to the start-up losses of around 60 million Deutsche Mark, a conversion to a younger programme called MTV2 was openly considered for the first time.[3]

The then competitor VIVA created with VIVA II eleven days after VH-1 first an equal program. Meanwhile, VH-1's management suggested that a merger with VIVA Zwei would make financial sense.[4] Instead, VIVA rejected the unsuccessful concept in favour of a more progressive format, now VIVA Zwei.

A budget cut in October 1997 meant that almost all moderated formats had to be cancelled; a large part of the workforce was "exempted".[5] Since then, the programme has been dominated by pure video clip lines and US formats. Alan Bangs and Susanne Reimann, both then VJs of the 360 Grad programme, resisted the reformatting.[6]

Ronny's Pop Show made a comeback on VH-1 in the same year. In 1998 the teletext, called VH-1 Text, was introduced.

On 7 August 2000, Bauer Media Group announced its entry. It was to take over 50% of the shares in VH-1 and the design of the programme from 08:00 to 20:00 hours. A separate channel was to be dedicated to the Bravo TV programme for this purpose.[7] However, these plans were abandoned on 11 December of the same year.[8]

On 1 May 2001, VH-1 was converted into the much younger mainstream MTV2 Pop channel as the "debut project" of the then new MTV managing director Catherine Mühlemann.[9][10] The last video on 30 April 2001 was Money for Nothing by the Dire Straits. MTV2 Pop took over all cable frequencies from VH-1 at midnight with One More Time by Daft Punk.

Me, Myself & Eye Entertainment GmbH also took over editorial tasks in the early days of MTV2 Pop. In contrast to its predecessor, however, the programme was played out by the MTV servers in London.


The program was usually received unencrypted only in the cable networks. Analogue, the channel was broadcast only temporarily, and only hourly, via Astra 19.2°E. For this purpose, the program-free time from 20:00 to 00:00 o'clock of the sister program Nickelodeon Deutschland was used. VH-1 initially remained on the satellite site, although the previous "main tenant" Nickelodeon ceased broadcasting on 31 May 1998 at 20:00 hours. However, VH-1 kept its limited transmission times, although Nickelodeon would have been replaced only by an ASTRA permanent loop and an extension of the transmission operation would have been theoretically possible. MTV Central completely took over the frequency on 1 January 1999. From then on, VH-1 was no longer broadcast via satellite until it was completely shut down.

For satellite viewers, it was temporarily only possible to receive the programme in the then new digital standard. Digitally VH-1 was only offered in encrypted form via the DF1 platform. After the merger of DF1 and Premiere to form Premiere World, both VH-1 and MTV Central were no longer represented in the programme portfolio.[11][12]

The reason for this limited reception situation via satellite was an exclusive contract with the then cable network operator Deutsche Telekom, which wanted to create a customer incentive with an unencrypted transmission of VH-1.[13] Despite everything, VH-1 could also only be received on an hourly basis in many cable networks. A similar agreement between the parent company Viacom Inc. and the DF1 operator, the Kirch Group, for all Viacom programs was rejected by Viacom.[14]


  1. ^ ARD klagt gegen Logo von VH-1. In: SatelliFax. Donnerstag, 7. November 1996
  2. ^ Mitschnitt des Sendestartes 1995.
  3. ^ "Clips von Bertelsmann?", Der Spiegel, 4 November 1996, no. 45, 1996
  4. ^ VH-1 will mit VIVA ZWEI fusionieren. In: SatelliFax. Samstag, 19. April 1997
  5. ^ VH-1 auf Sparkurs. In: SatelliFax. Mittwoch, 1. Oktober 1997
  6. ^ Formatfluch in TV & Radio: Alan Bangs über seinen Rausschmiß beim Videosender VH-1. In: Subway (Magazin).
  7. ^ Der Musiksender VH-1 und "Bravo TV" gehen zusammen. In: Berliner Zeitung. Montag, 7. August 2000
  8. ^ Bauer-Verlag steigt nicht bei VH-1 ein . In: Pressetext. Montag, 11. Dezember 2000
  9. ^ MTV wandelt VH-1 in MTV2 – The Pop Channel um. In: SatelliFax. Mittwoch, 18. April 2001
  10. ^ Chalaby, Jean K. (2009). Transnational Television in Europe: Reconfiguring Global Communications Networks. I.B.Tauris. p. 129. ISBN 9780857717474.
  11. ^ MTV, VH-1 und BBC nicht bei Premiere World. In: SatelliFax. Mittwoch, 14. Juli 1999
  12. ^ MTV und VH-1 akzeptieren DF1-Kündigung nicht. In: SatelliFax. Dienstag, 7. September 1999
  13. ^ VH-1 Deutschland ab Mai analog und uncodiert auf Astra. In: SatelliFax. Montag, 16. April 2001
  14. ^ Viacom will sich nicht exclusiv an Kirch-Gruppe binden. In: SatelliFax. Montag, 15. April 1996

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