MTV viewers in the UK can now use a catch-up service and watch 24 hours or a week of past programming.

MTV On Demand (MTV OD) means that fans of the channel can now watch their favourite shows when it suits them.

The service charges a fee of £2 for 24 hours or £3 for a week. This pay-as-you-watch model keeps the prices low and is likely to appeal to a younger audience rather than larger repeat-subscription payments. MTV OD services are only offered to users aged 16 years or older, so parental discretion is advised, although how this can be enforced would be interesting to know.

Payment for the services is sent via reverse-billed premium rate text sms/mms services. So a close eye on your phone bill might be a good idea if your teenagers are keen on MTV. Though naturally the broadcaster says you must have permission from the person who pays the bill.

To watch, viewers need to log in to the MTV OD service using their mobile phone number and a pin code which arrives via text/sms becomes the password.

The primary cost of the service is incurred not when users send the SMS text message to request the access code but when MTV sends the requested access code in return. This is why these services are known as “reverse billed premium rate services”.

Though the MTV channel is best known for it’s music video content, it also has a suite of popular reality TV shows and dramas that are available to watch as part of the service.

If you’re a fan of Geordie Shore, Jersey Shore and 16 and Pregnant, episodes will appear on MTV OD within 24 hours of the original broadcast date.

mtv MTV launches archives on demand and catch up services for the UK

On demand is fast becoming a useful offering to TV channels that want to keep their share of brand dominance. Where a +1 service (when a complimentary channel plays the same output but an hour later) was a fun idea for broadcast television, viewers are now taking to non-linear broadcast models as found on the BBC iPlayer and the UK’s Channel 4OD to watch programs at preferred times.

Philip O’Ferrall, Senior Vice President of Digital, Viacom International Media Networks commented: “Today’s MTV generation is connected and ‘always on’. The new catch-up service makes our content more accessible and ensures that our fans will never miss an episode of their favourite MTV show.”

It’s surprising that it has taken so long for the music and pop culture broadcaster to offer this service as the ‘MTV generation’ has always been seen to move fast and make demands of its media. The new service at least means that the audience is likely to remain loyal and of course provides an alternative to pirated material when fans miss their favourite show.