CMT (American TV channel)

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CMT
CMT logo
CountryUnited States
Broadcast areaNationwide
HeadquartersNew York City, United States
Programming
Language(s)English
Picture format1080i HDTV
(downscaled to letterboxed 480i for the SDTV feed)
Ownership
OwnerParamount Media Networks
ParentMTV Entertainment Group
Sister channels
History
LaunchedMarch 5, 1983; 39 years ago (1983-03-05)
Replaced[1]
Former namesCMTV (1983), Country Music Television (1983–2010)
Links
WebsiteCMT.com

CMT is an American pay television channel owned by Paramount Media Networks, a division of Paramount Global. Launched on March 5, 1983 as Country Music Television, CMT was the first nationally available channel devoted to country music and country music videos, with its programming also including concerts, specials, and biographies of country music stars. Over time, the network's programming expanded to incorporate original lifestyle and reality programming while downplaying its focus on country music.

As of January 2018, approximately 92 million U.S. homes [2] (or 76.9% of the Nielsen-estimated 119.2 million television households [3]) receive CMT. The channel's headquarters are located in One Astor Plaza in New York City, and has additional offices in Nashville, Tennessee.

History[edit]

Early years (1983–1991)[edit]

Logo introduced in 2000.

CMTV, an initialism for Country Music Television, was founded by Glenn D. Daniels, the owner of Video World Productions in Hendersonville, Tennessee. Daniels put together the ownership group of Telestar Corporation and the Blinder Robinson & Company investment bank in a three-way split. Daniels also served as the program director and the first president of the network.[4] The network launched on March 5, 1983, at 6:19 p.m. CT, beating its chief competitor, The Nashville Network, to air by two days. The first video clip to air on CMT was Faron Young's 1971 hit "It's Four in the Morning".[5] The following summer, MTV filed a trademark infringement lawsuit over the initials CMTV, and the network changed its name to simply CMT.[6]

In 1991, Opryland USA and its owner Gaylord Entertainment Company acquired CMT in a $34 million deal.[7] The network was sold by a group led by radio station owner Robert Sillerman, record producer James Guercio and Nyhl L Henson.[7] Opryland USA and owner Gaylord also owned CMT's competitor The Nashville Network. In October 1992, CMT launched its first international channel, CMT Europe, as part of the Sky Multichannels package. In July 1995, CMT launched its Brazilian version in association with Grupo Abril's TVA.[8] By 1998, Gaylord reported $10 million in losses from CMT Europe and decided to cease broadcasting the network on March 31, 1998.[9] Gaylord had planned to emulate the successful model created by E!, by selling large programming blocks to other European channels, but these plans never occurred.[9]

On October 1, 1994, CMT made its first major format change by adding several new music-oriented programs.[10] In 1995, CMT dropped all videos by Canadian artists without U.S. record contracts in response to the network being replaced in Canada by Calgary, Alberta-based New Country Network.[11] By March 1996, CMT had eventually returned the dropped videos to its playlist after reaching an agreement to acquire a 20% ownership of New Country Network, relaunching it as a domestic version of CMT.[12]

Under CBS/Viacom (1997–2017)[edit]

CMT's offices are located at Paramount Global's headquarters in New York City, but has additional offices in downtown Nashville, Tennessee (as seen here).

In 1997, both CMT and TNN were sold to Westinghouse, then-owner of CBS, for a reported $1.5 billion.[13] CBS would in-turn be acquired by Viacom in 1999, assuming ownership of CMT and TNN and folding them into the MTV Networks. TNN would phase out country programming to avoid overlap with CMT, changing its name to "The National Network", and later relaunching altogether as Spike in 2003.

Logo used until 2017.

Despite the decrease in music programming, CMT experienced significant ratings gains since its acquisition. By 2007, the channel was available in more than 83 million homes.[14] On April 4, 2012, CMT announced its first adult animated series, Bounty Hunters, and Trinity 911, a 10-episode "workplace docu-comedy".[15] Trinity 911 was later renamed Big Texas Heat[16] and was removed from the schedule after airing four episodes.[citation needed]

On June 10, 2016, CMT announced that they would pick up the ABC series Nashville following its original cancellation of the series. The network would order a fifth season of 22 episodes.[17]

Restructuring (2017–present)[edit]

In 2017, as part of Viacom's restructuring plans, CMT would begin a transition back to unscripted programming.[18] As a result, Nashville's sixth season would also be its last.[19][20]

As part of its shift back to unscripted programming, CMT announced Music City in September 2017,[21] a reality series created by Adam DiVello of The Hills and Laguna Beach fame.[22] Set in Nashville, Tennessee, the show features Bryant Lowry, a drummer in the Nashville pop band Jet Black Alley Cat.[23][24] The series premiered on March 1, 2018.[25][26]

In 2019, Viacom acquired Pluto TV, and launched several CMT-branded channels, including a channel focused on Western genre movies (CMT Westerns) and a channel dedicated to Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team.[27][28][29]

Programming[edit]

CMT's current programming consists of original southern/blue collar lifestyle and reality shows and acquired general entertainment programming. The channel's daily country music programming consists of a music video block, seen during the early morning hours, as well as CMT Hot Twenty, which airs on weekend mornings. Of Viacom's former music channels (not counting its suite of all-music digital channels), CMT has historically been the most devoted to music-related programming and previously set aside at least six hours of its daily schedule for music videos during the overnight and morning hours.[citation needed] In addition, most of CMT's original programming is centered or related to the Culture of Dallas or Nashville, Tennessee, where the network's studios are located.[30]

CMT's music mix is primarily focused on mainstream hit country songs, but also includes occasional videos from crossover, Americana, and alternative acts (dubbed "CMT Edge"). Specials seen on the network include the annual CMT Music Awards, featuring awards in various categories and performances by country music artists, and CMT Crossroads, which pairs country music artists with musicians from other music genres.

Spin-offs and International Networks[edit]

  • CMT Europe - Launched in October 1992 and closed in March 1998.
  • CMT Brazil - Launched in July 1995 and closed in March 2001. Replaced by MusicCountry.[31][32]
  • CMT Australia - Launched on July 1, 2020 as a replacement for Country Music Channel. Dedicated to country music videos.
  • CMT Music - Dedicated to country music videos. Launched on August 1, 1998 as "VH1 Country" and rebranded as "CMT Pure Country" from May 27, 2006 to January 4, 2016.
  • CMT (Canada) - Canadian version majority-owned by Corus Entertainment with Viacom owning a 10% stake in the channel. Unlike its American counterpart, CMT Canada shifted its focus toward family-oriented programming. The network has only sparingly acquired shows and specials sourced from the U.S. version in-favor of producing its own original programming. The channel previously aired country music programming during the daytime hours and general entertainment programming in the evenings; it would abandon the former format altogether in August 2017. It was originally launched as the "New Country Network" on January 1, 1995.
  • The Nashville Network - A former rival network. It became a sibling to CMT in 1997 and eventually shifted to a general entertainment format to prevent overlap. Its original incarnation was relaunched as Spike TV in 2003 and, later, Paramount Network in 2018.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Charles K. Wolfe; James E. Akenson (October 17, 2014). Country Music Annual 2001. University Press of Kentucky. ISBN 9780813157184. Retrieved April 1, 2019.
  2. ^ "Spectrum Reach: Country Music Television". Spectrum. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  3. ^ "Nielsen Insights: National Television Household Universe 2017-2018 Season". Nielsen Research. Retrieved May 4, 2018.
  4. ^ Wolfe, Charles; Akenson, James (2001). Country Music Annual 2001. The University Press of Kentucky. p. 8. ISBN 0813130883. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  5. ^ Andrew Leahey (March 6, 2015). "Flashback: CMT Airs First Country Music Video". Rolling Stone. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  6. ^ Kingsbury, Paul; McCall, Michael; Rumble, John (2012). The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press. p. 94. ISBN 9780199920839. Retrieved May 21, 2016.
  7. ^ a b "Nashville Net closes CMT acquisition deal". Archived from the original on November 2, 2012. Retrieved September 3, 2009.  – via HighBeam (subscription required)
  8. ^ "TVA passa a distribuir em julho canal dedicado à música country". Folha de S.Paulo (in Brazilian Portuguese). June 18, 1995. Retrieved April 25, 2022.
  9. ^ a b Katz, Richard (February 3, 1998). "Gaylord shutters CMT Euro". Variety. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  10. ^ "CMT launches new series". BNET. Archived from the original on July 2, 2009. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  11. ^ "U.S. country TV drops Canadian videos". Toronto Star. January 10, 1995. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  12. ^ "Country music TV channels in accord". Toronto Star. March 8, 1996. Retrieved September 3, 2009.
  13. ^ "CBS makes cable a 'core business;' with purchase of TNN and CMT, network doubles its cable holdings.(cable television networks)" Article from: Broadcasting & Cable: February 17, 1997 Author: Katz, Michael
  14. ^ Underwood, Ryan (April 15, 2007). "If it has a screen, CMT is on it". The Tennessean.[permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Bibel, Sara (April 4, 2012). "CMT Picks Up Two New Series: 'Bounty Hunters,' and 'Trinity 911'". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on April 7, 2012. Retrieved May 9, 2013.
  16. ^ "CMT Lines Up Big Premieres for November with Returning Favorite "Redneck Island" Along with New Series "Chainsaw Gang" and "Big Texas Heat"". The Futon Critic. October 15, 2012. Retrieved May 8, 2013.
  17. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (June 10, 2016). "'Nashville' Picked Up For Season 5 By CMT With Next-Day Play on Hulu". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved June 10, 2016.
  18. ^ Lieberman, David (February 9, 2017). "Viacom CEO Supports Paramount And Non-Core Networks – But For How Long?". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved September 18, 2017.
  19. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (May 3, 2017). "CMT Programming Chief Jayson Dinsmore On CMT's New 'Reinforcing' Brand Status, More 'Sun Records' & Scripted Future". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  20. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (November 17, 2017). "'Nashville' To End: Season 6 On CMT Will Be Country Drama Series' Last". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  21. ^ "New Docu-Series Music City Coming to CMT in 2018". CMT News. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  22. ^ "Can 'Music City' break Nashville's reality TV curse?". The Tennessean. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  23. ^ Thompson, Avery (February 9, 2018). "'Music City': Meet The Newest Cast Members Of CMT's Nashville Reality Show". Hollywood Life. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  24. ^ Maue, Savanna. "Bryant Lowry, a musician with Topeka roots, featured in upcoming CMT show 'Music City'". The Topeka Capital. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  25. ^ "Kerry and Rachyl's Marriage Is Tested This Season on Music City: 'I Kind of Messed Up'". PEOPLE.com. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  26. ^ "Meet the Music City Cast". CMT News. Retrieved March 12, 2018.
  27. ^ "Viacom Announces Completion of Pluto TV Acquisition". www.businesswire.com. March 4, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2019.
  28. ^ Peterson, Tim (April 16, 2019). "Viacom will debut 15 channels on Pluto TV to bolster its upfront pitch". Retrieved April 29, 2019.
  29. ^ Bouma, Luke (August 19, 2019). "Pluto TV is Adding 4 New Channels Tomorrow Including TV Land Drama, TV Land Sitcoms, & Comedy Central Roast". Cord Cutters News. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  30. ^ Nakamura, Reid (March 11, 2019). "CMT Orders Nashville Version of 'Hollywood Squares' (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved August 21, 2019.
  31. ^ "FORÇA TOTAL À COUNTRY MUSIC".
  32. ^ "CMT PARTE PARA NOVAS PARADAS DO SUCESSO". November 1, 2000.

External links[edit]