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CMT Analysis - September 2010


* Bold denotes programming change


Still moving away from the music programming on which the network was founded, CMT has begun depending more on movies, with the previous 8pm strip of EXTREME MAKEOVER HOME EDITION now reduced to one night. Original series run on Friday, with Music specials slotted throughout the schedule.

Weekend strategy consists of slotting series and movies interspersed with Comedy and Music specials.


Live Primetime Ratings Comparison /October 2010 vs. October 2009  (% Change)

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

CMT has been moving towards light entertainment/reality and away from music for months now, although it still finds some of its highest ratings from music-oriented series and specials. 2010 has seen consecutive months of year to year losses, briefly interrupted by a month of modest growth in September. October exhibited an unfortunate return to form, with 20% declines in HH and A25-54 from last year, and with the key RW25-54 demo down by nearly half.

Largely responsible for this decline is the absence of ARE YOU SMARTER THAN A FIFTH GRADER, which was double-stripped in Prime last year.  The Prime HH average for FIFTH GRADER in October 2009 was 50% higher than the CMT's Prime average in 2010, and double that for W25-54, accounting for much of the year-to-year loss.

In a shift from how Nielsen has listed CMT's programming in the past, the ratings from certain Prime Movie telecasts no longer appear under a single COUNTRY MUSIC THEATER umbrella. For October, CMT broke out each of its Prime movie telecasts seperately. Based on this practice, Movies occupied 12 of the top 20 in slots for HH delivery for the month, with STRIPES the top offering. Various DUKES OF HAZZARD specials and episodes also found favor with CMT viewers.


The Network could use some series with a longer shelf life.  Competition/elimination based formats are fun to watch, but don't have the strength to repeat down the road, something that's increasingly becoming a necessity on this network. The common thread in all of CMT's needs is that they be family-friendly

In addition to the music fare that was the bedrock of the Network, CMT is looking for sitcoms, comedic reality and adventure-based reality series.