MTV Performance/Schedule Analysis - August 2008

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PERFORMANCE/SCHEDULE ANALYSIS

(Updated as of September 25, 2008)

TARGET DEMOGRAPHIC:

Teens 12-17, Adults 18-34


AUGUST 2008 PRIMETIME SCHEDULE

TOP PRIMETIME SHOWS:

THE HILLS, EXILED, FROM G'S TO GENTS, AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW, PARENTAL CONTROL, MAKING THE BAND, JUVIES, ROAD TO EXILE, BUSTED

SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

Catering to the tween and young adult audience that can sleep in a bit over the summer, MTV premiered a lot of their primetime programs during the week in the 10pm slot.

Monday nights in July featured a variety of programming, leading into the main premiere at 10pm.  (This month came the return of THE HILLS.

Typically a male-skewing night, Tuesday started with TRUE LIFE or other programming, leading into newcomer reality show FROM G'S TO GENTS.

Wednesday night's lineup changed from week to week, with TRUE making a few stacked appeaences, then RUNS HOUSE and  BUZZIN' later in the month.

Thursdays in August were all about AMERICA'S BEST DANCE crew.

Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays featured a variety of programming, including the newly premiered F'N MTV.

PROGRAM/SCHEDULE CHANGES:

JULY - AUGUST 2008:

PREMIERES:

**BUZZIN' premiered July 23, 2008, at 10:30pm.

FINALES:

**TILA TEQUILA finale aired July 8, 2008.
**THE REAL WORLD finale aired July 9, 2008.

JULY AND BEYOND:

PREMIERES:

**THE HILLS Season 4 premiered August 18, 2008.
**EXILED premiered August 25, 2008.
**The Video Music Awards air September 7, 2008.
**THE ISLAND (REAL WORLD/ROAD RULES CHALLENGE) premiered September 11, 2008.
**SEX...WITH MOM AND DAD premieres September 29, 2008, at 7pm, and will be stripped.
**MAN AND WIFE premieres September 29, 2008, at 11pm, and will be stripped.
**PARIS HILTON'S MY NEW BFF premieres September 30, 2008, at 10pm.
**On October 4, MTV will run a programming lineup that will document celebrity stunts. The series debut of MTV Ranked opens at 530p with a one-hour special, Celebrity Busts: Ranked. At 630p, MTV will air a 30m Busted followed by Busted: Live at 7p, a three-hour, real-time event where Busted cameras will ride around with law enforcement in Ohio and Maryland looking to capture zany crimes. (Cynopsis)

YEAR AGO/BIG PICTURE:

While ratings suggest that August 2008 was a tough month for MTV, it's necessary to keep in mind that the Olympics (and Michael Phelps' abs) were undoubtedly competing for viewers.  That being said, MTV lost nearly a third of its audience when compared to August 2007.  Similar losses were seen across all the key demographics.

But, with the Olympics over, Michael Phelps allegedly in a relationship, and premieres of brand new programming throughout August and September, it's this analyst's guess that MTV will be on an upswing in the upcoming weeks.

AUGUST 2008 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Like the year to year ratings, MTV's overall share fell when compared to July 2008.  Still, the losses were fairly minimal overall, and some nights indicated a new show of strength for the network.

The only night of the week to experience growth over last year was Monday night, which saw an overall household share growth of 33%. There was overall growth in all key demographics, especially a large spike in Women 18-49 (with the premiere of THE HILLS, who'd have thunk it?)).  According to press, 3.5 million people tuned into the premiere on Monday the 18th despite the Olympic coverage.  And according to the LA Times, THE HILLS notched a 2.0 rating/5 share, down a significant 29% from the March season opener (2.8/7) but good enough to make the premiere the reality show's second-best, according to Nielsen."

Good news for THE HILLS, not such good news on Monday nights for the lead-out program.  BUSTED, which aired at 10:30pm following the premiere, and EXILED, which premiered the following week in the time slot, couldn't maintain the same numbers as LC and the gang.

Tuesday nights were flat from July, but actually saw some nice increases in younger male demographics, who are clearly responding to newcomer FROM G'S TO GENTS.  Ratings for new episodes were high, and it seems as if MTV could benefit from some solid companion male-skewing programming.

Wednesday nights in August were down about a quarter from last month.  The night was one of the weaker nights, ratings-wise, but look for big growth next month with the upcoming premiere of THE ISLAND.

Though the night saw an overall loss in viewers, MTV's latest reality competition show, AMERICA'S BEST DANCE CREW still resonates well with younger viewers. 

The numbers for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights were relatively low this month for MTV.  Each of those nights saw overall losses in share.  MTV could probably benefit from some more scheduled programming over the weekend to keep viewers tuned in instead of a haphazard mix of reruns and stunts.

PROGRAM ACQUISITIONS:

SO YOU THINK YOU CAN DANCE, AMERICA'S NEXT TOP MODEL, BEAUTY AND THE GEEK

PROGRAM RENEWALS:

FROM G'S TO GENTS has been renewed for a second season.

MTV is currently casting for season 22 of THE REAL WORLD.

The 21st season of THE REAL WORLD will take place in Brooklyn, New York.

PROGRAM CANCELLATIONS:

None announced.

ADDITIONAL SHOWS CURRENTLY AIRING:

TRUE LIFE,  MADE, PARENTAL CONTROL

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