MM (TV channel)
MM (Bulgarian: ММ) was a Bulgarian cable and satellite music television channel which operated between 1997 and 2010. During its existence, especially in the early 2000s, MM had a profound impact on the Bulgarian music industry and popular culture with its annual music awards becoming one of the most important events on the modern Bulgarian music scene.
|Launched||3 March 1997|
|Closed||30 April 2010|
|Owned by||Modern Times Group|
|Picture format||4:3 576i, 1080i (DVB)|
|Slogan||for music lovers|
|Formerly called||M2 (2003-2007)|
|Replaced by||Nova Sport|
MM was created by Krasen Karaychev and Toni Tanov in 1997 as the first Bulgarian television channel to play music videos guided by on-air hosts known as VJs with a television programming similar to MTV's. Several months after the launch of the television channel, the famous Bulgarian TV producer and comedian Kamen Vodenicharov became part of the television team. Under his management, MM expanded into a nationwide cable television channel. By the early 2000s, MM Television was broadcast by more than 160 cable and satellite operators in Bulgaria reaching a potential audience of 4.3 million people. In 2003, it started a sister channel - M2, which purpose was to play only music videos performed by Bulgarian bands and artists. In 2005 MM Television also founded its own record label - MM Records.
In 2005 Apace Media Group acquired 66% of the television channel for €660,000. The media company planned to upgrade the TV studios and to continue developing the music-orientated programming. Actually very little of this happened. MM once again changed its ownership in 2007 becoming part of the Balkan Media Group (a joint venture of Apace Media Group and Modern Times Group). 2007 saw major cuts in the television channel's finances as many of the TV shows were discontinued as well as its sister channel M2. In the beginning of 2009 MM dropped all its shows from its programming and started only to broadcast music videos. With its revenues continually falling after the restructuring of MM's programming, in 2010, after 13 years of existence, the channel owners decided to discontinue it as 'it operates in an over-saturated niche market with many other music channels available in the country, while the potential audience tends to change their way to consume music' (according to the channel's executive director Jacob Anderson's statement in April 2010). After ceasing transmission on 30 April 2010, MM Television was replaced by the newly founded sports television channel Nova Sport.
MM's Annual Music Awards
In 1998 MM started organising its own MM's Annual Music Awards. The show soon became one of the most respected events on the modern Bulgarian music scene that gathered the most popular Bulgarian bands and artists each year. The annual music awards were presented until 2007 when a MM's Decennial Music Awards were organised. The event marked the ten-year anniversary of MM's but eventually turned out to be the last show of this kind to be organised by the television channel.