CMT Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of September 20, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Adults & Females 18-49.

AUGUST 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

COMEDY CLUB, 20 GREATEST REDNECK MOMENTS, SOUTHERN FRIED FLICKS, CMT ORIGINAL FILMS,  MABE IN AMERICA

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

The network eschews classic strategies of horizontal strips and vertical stacks in favor of a diverse mix of series, specials, and movies on each night.  Multiple exhibitions expose core series and anthology brands to wider audiences across the days and dayparts.  In late 2006, they introduced a consistently scheduled block on Fridays.  Titled "Sure Thing Fridays", it started with TRICK MY TRUCK and FOXWORTHY, added DALLAS COWBOY CHEERLEADERS to the block in October and COWBOY U COLORADO in January.  More recent residents include GONE COUNTRY, CAN YOU DUET, MOBILE HOME DISASTER, and MABE IN AMERICA.  The block briefly shifted to Saturdays before returning to Fridays in early 2008.  It remains the only consistent platform for premiere series on the network.

In March the network introduced a checkerboard strip at Noon, 1pm, 6pm, and 7pm with the unscripted series NANNY 911 and TRADING SPOUSES.  Both series are a departure from the usual daytime music video fare, but are providing a reasonable platform for promoting the prime time schedule.  To date, we've yet to see a noticeable bump at 8pm as a result of the lead-in.  They've also been used sporadically in prime as a nightly stack with great success.


PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

JULY to AUGUST:

Wednesday - returns to a generic inventory mix for the entire night

Friday - GONE COUNTRY returns and OUTSIDER'S INN debuts to make up the 8-9pm block; COUNTRY FRIED HOME VIDEOS is slotted at 9pm with an inventory mix remaining from 9:30-11:00

PREMIERES:

** August 15th - OUTSIDER'S INN
** August 30th - CMT'S BIGGEST REDNECK WEDDING EVER

SEPTEMBER AND BEYOND

PREMIERES:

** September 24th - CMT CROSSROADS: 38 SPECIAL & TRACE ADKINS
** October 4th - MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING
** October 4th - DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS: MAKING THE TEAM
** October 18th - HULK HOGAN'S CELEBRITY CHAMPIONSHIP WRESTLING
** November 7th - CMT CROSSROADS: DEF LEPPARD & TAYLOR SWIFT


YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

Audiences are down slightly from July, but it's the year to year comparisons that bring the really bad news.  For the second month in a row, the network experiences a preciptous fall versus year ago.  And, as we saw last month, losing DUKES OF HAZZARD this year chased away the male demo in droves.  Two hours a night of the general appeal series in prime time last year was a big winner.  The usual inventory repeats can't match that success.  Total audiences are down 31%.  Men 18-49 and 25-54 have dropped 33% and 31% respectively.

Looking ahead, last September was their strongest month of the year.  Expect the fall off to continue.

AUGUST 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Saturday's solid, Friday's average, and the rest of the week didn't offer much to talk about. 

Saturday was up 20% in total audience as well as younger women.  Credit the rise to a few good movie performances, especially DRIVING MISS DAISY.  Premiere of the special MY BIGGEST REDNECK WEDDING was also solid, even though the scheduling placement was a little confusing.

Friday nights remain the home of premiere series.  A mixed bag of numbers, but overall the night comes out on the positive side.  Men fell dramatically from year ago.  Not a surprise since last year featured male skewing TRICK MY TRUCK and CELEBRITY BULL RIDING.  On the other hand, women were up considerably over year ago.  More than 50% in fact.

The second season of GONE COUNTRY debuted in August with some pretty good performances.  Same for GONE COUNTRY spin-off OUTSIDER'S INN.  The Friday premieres for both series exceeded nework averages for audience and demos.  As we've seen with most CMT series, repeat airings throughout the week don't hold up a well, drawing down the series averages for the month. 

Beyond Friday and Saturday, the rest of the week is all repeats, all the time, with no visible scheduling strategy to speak of.  And the numbers show it.  Down from last year by large margins.  The network continues to show that a couple of series on one night just isn't enough to carry a schedule.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

NANNY 911, TRADING SPOUSES

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

MY BIG REDNECK WEDDING (10/4); DALLAS COWBOYS CHEERLEADERS: MAKING THE TEAM (10/4);

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

NANNY 911, TRADING SPOUSES

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