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MTV to Air More Original Hours, While Spending Less

MTV will air more hours of original programming during 2018 while spending less, according to Bob Bakish, CEO of parent company Viacom.

Speaking on Viacom’s third-quarter earnings call Thursday, Bakish said MTV will air 60% more original programming. But because of a shift from scripted to non-scripted and live programming, costs will go down he said.

The live programming, including the return of TRL, will bridge MTV’s linear and digital platforms, he said.

Bakish said that the live programming will be part of MTV having much more digital activity. He pointed to the reboot of Cribs on Snapchat and the million followers MTV has an the app.

Turning around MTV, and Viacom’s other flagship networks, is a key to Bakish’s strategy for reviving the struggling company.

Among the signs of progress, Bakish pointed to C3 ratings improvements at the company’s cable portfolio, which was up 1% in the quarter.

In June MTV was up 3%—the first June gain since 2011. July was up 19%.

The numbers are changing “from a sea of reach to increasingly a sea of green,” he said.

Jon Lafayette
Jon Lafayette

Jon has been business editor of Broadcasting+Cable since 2010. He focuses on revenue-generating activities, including advertising and distribution, as well as executive intrigue and merger and acquisition activity. Just about any story is fair game, if a dollar sign can make its way into the article. Before B+C, Jon covered the industry for TVWeek, Cable World, Electronic Media, Advertising Age and The New York Post. A native New Yorker, Jon is hiding in plain sight in the suburbs of Chicago.