Abstract This study examines Viacom's MTV localisation strategy in East Asia--specifically South Korea, China and Japan, which should be interpreted not in the context of globalisation but of glocalisation, because the strategy for entry into foreign markets means that localised programming and business modes are more successful than other strategies (e.g. standardisation or unification). The results of this study show that Viacom's MTV used joint ventures as its primary localised business mode in East Asia. This particular mode is more efficient and beneficial to an international company like Viacom in countries that are not only distant, but also culturally, politically, financially and economically challenging to them. In terms of Localised programming, MTV Korea, MTV China and MTV Japan all used local staff and local languages, and all three channels showed different trends in the types of programmes they broadcast: MTV Korea aired more local programmes, MTV Japan aired more Western music and MTV China depended more on programming from neighbouring nations.