CMT Benefit Garners Record Ratings


Country Music Television scored record ratings with its presentation of
The Country Freedom Concert.

The Viacom Inc. network averaged a 2.1 household rating Oct. 21 with the
premiere of the three-hour benefit show, held at the Gaylord Entertainment
Center in Nashville, Tenn., according to Nielsen Media Research data.

Airing from 8 p.m. to 11 p.m., The Country Freedom Concert also scored
big among adults 18 through 49, leading all of basic cable in that demo that
night, according to CMT.

Coupled with an immediate rebroadcast, the show -- a joint production with
Clear Channel Entertainment that was simulcast on radio stations -- attracted
some 6 million viewers overall.

The concert raised some $5.1 million for the Salvation Army Disaster Relief
Fund and its efforts to help in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The show featured performances from many of the biggest names in country
music: George Strait, Alan Jackson, Brooks & Dunn, Martina McBride, Tim
McGraw, Vince Gill, Lee Ann Womack, Trisha Yearwood, Hank Williams Jr. and
Diamond Rio, among them.

'Country had a moment of amazing convergence -- a stunning array of talent;
top-level concert- and TV-production crews; a bunch of get-it-done agents,
managers and label people; and blanket coverage on more than 700 radio stations
and the Internet worldwide,' CMT general manager Brian Phillips said in a
prepared statement.

'The Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund deserved all this and more,' he
added. 'CMT and its friends will continue to work on their behalf right through
the holidays.'

The Salvation Army Disaster Relief Fund has served more than 2.5 million
meals to rescue workers since Sept. 11.