MTV, originally an initialism of Music Television, is an American cable television channel 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. Today, MTV primarily broadcasts a variety of reality and scripted television programs targeted at adolescents and young adults.
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.