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In 1977, Warner Cable a division of Warner Communications and the precursor of Warner-Amex Satellite Entertainment launched the first two-way interactive cable television system named QUBE in Columbus, Ohio. One of these specialized channels was Sight on Sound, a music channel that featured concert footage and music-oriented television programs.
Pittman's boss Warner-Amex executive vice president John Lack had shepherded Pop Clips, a television series created by former Monkee-turned solo artist Michael Nesmith, whose attention had turned to the music video format in the late 1970s.
In recent years, MTV had struggled with the secular decline of music-related cable media.
Its ratings had been said to be failing systematically, as younger viewers increasingly shift towards digital media, with yearly ratings drops as high as 29%; thus there was doubt of the lasting relevance of MTV towards young audiences.
Several music programs originating outside of the US, including Australia's Countdown and the United Kingdom's Top of the Pops, which had initially aired music videos in lieu of performances from artists who were not available to perform live, began to feature them regularly by the mid-1970s.
In 1974, Gary Van Haas, vice president of Televak Corporation, introduced a concept to distribute a music video channel to record stores across the United States, and promoted the channel, named Music Video TV, to distributors and retailers in a May 1974 issue of Billboard.