ZTV is a television channel broadcast by Viasat to Sweden. Since May 2006, most of its programming consists of music videos.
The channel started in Sweden as a daily afternoon show in TV3 and TV4 in February 1991. The channel got its name as it was a simulcast version of the radio station Z Radio. There was also a Z magazine available for some time.
In May 1992 it became a channel on its own in Swedish cable networks. The intention was to create a Swedish version of MTV and thus the focus was primarily on music.
Aside from music videos the channel featured many shows produced in Sweden. Although they were low budget they also featured new ideas and many of them received cult status. Many of the presenters went on to become stars on the major networks whit ZTV being viewed as a breeding ground for new talent.
For a few years, there was a Danish ZTV, but it eventually merged with Danish TV6 to form TV3+ and was closed down in 1996. There were also plans to merge the Swedish ZTV with the Swedish TV6, but this never materialized.
As the years went on, ZTV moved from Stockholm to London and started broadcasting American imports such as The David Letterman Show and The Simpsons. ZTV started broadcasting 24 hours a day in 2000. In 2002, a Norwegian version of ZTV launched, ZTV Norway.
September 2004 marked a significant change in style for the channel. Instead of being a youth channel, ZTV would now target men. As a result, most of the in-house ZTV shows were cancelled and replaced by Champions League football and wrestling.
In May 2006, MTG started a new channel called TV6. This channel took over most the programming from ZTV, as well as its frequencies in the cable networks. This meant that ZTV would only broadcast music videos and lost most of its distribution.
The future of ZTV remains uncertain, and the channel is at the moment undergoing a renovation concerning hosts and programs. The Nordic anime community hopes that the channel will continue to broadcast Anime, undubbed and unedited as ZTV has done since late 2007.
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