MTV wants to rock your video game controller. But skepticism came easily after yesterday's announcement from the Viacom (NYSE:VIA) camp that its music television network was launching an MTV Games subsidiary.

Consider that Viacom's stock hasn't been doing so well over the past few years. And remember back when MTV used to show music videos around the clock? These days, it's struggling to establish a firm identity in the cable space. Yet it's arguably remembered most these days for the infamous "wardrobe malfunction" Super Bowl halftime show, which it produced.

So why MTV Games? Viacom's subsidiary will be going up against established players like Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), Activision (NASDAQ:ATVI), and Take-Two Interactive (NASDAQ:TTWO). This is a highly competitive sector, where it takes more than just a recognized brand to persuade a diehard video game buff to part with a wad of disposable income. What makes MTV so sure it can succeed?

Well, for starters, MTV isn't exactly going it alone. Yesterday, the company announced a partnership with Midway (NYSE:MWY) in which MTV will provide soundtrack assistance and in-game advertising on some of Midway's upcoming titles.

Another reason not to cut MTV's chances short is that, warts and all, Viacom is still a connected parent. Viacom has its Paramount movie studio and theme parks, its CBS broadcast network, and other cable properties such as Nickelodeon and Comedy Central. That means MTV won't have a shortage of promotional outlets for its video game pursuits.

This isn't the first time MTV has reached beyond the music box. MTV Films was created back in 1996, when the company started rolling out edgy yet campy full-length feature comedies like Joe's Apartment and Election. The latter was even nominated for a screenplay Oscar.

MTV Games may be an even better move than MTV Films, though. As video games continue to evolve into living and breathing online experiences, developers have a greater ability to adapt in-game advertising to make it current -- and relevant. Viacom knows all about profiting from advertisement. Despite its depressed shares, the company is about to plug into yet another promising outlet.

Here is where the game gets good.

Some more "I Want My MTV" links:

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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz doesn't know whether he still wants his MTV, but he knows that Viacom's shareholders wouldn't mind money for nothing. He does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. The Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.