Country Music Television: A Brief History Lesson

Typically called CMT, Country Music Television is a cable television channel that features American country music. The channel’s programmings include taped concerts, movies, past and present country star’s biographies, and music videos. The television channel is operated and owned by MTV Networks, a Viacom subsidiary.

Country Music Television was established by Glenn D. Daniels on the 5th of March 1983, and launched from a Hendersonville Tennessee facility called the Video World Productions. Daniels was the founder, maker, and first network president of initially named “CMTV” but at all times “Country Music Television”. The “V” on the “CMTV” was dropped in answer to contender MTV to avoid confusing viewers that CMTV was a spin-off of MTV.

Country Music Television beat TNN (Nashville Network) on air for two days and turned into the main competition of TNN until 1991, when the then-owner of TNN – Gaylord Entertainment Company, bought the financially broke network. Country Music television was placed to play twenty-four hour country music videos, whereas TNN was focused toward programs providing “country lifestyle”.

In the year 1995, the two networks were put up for sale to the proprietor of CBS Network, Westinghouse. The acquisition of the country-themed networks, together with the creation of the unfortunate network “Eye on People”, formed a division of CBS Cable. Eventually, Viacom merged with Westinghouse/CBS, taking ownership of TNN and CMT and placing them into the stable of MTV Networks.

Viacom modified the format/focus of TNN in 2000, finally changing its name to Spike TV. From that time, Country Music Television has turned into a network fashioned after MTV, having current programs that feature country music-themed shows, country lifestyle-themed shows, and old movies and shows that highly feature Southern-rock or country music such as Dukes of Hazzard and Freebird: The Movie.

In recent years, Country Music Television has turned into more like a pop-culture channel, with an increasing weight on specials, reality programs, and countdowns in music videos. Several have complained that the channel is changing too far-off from country music, like in the instance of Country Music Television acquiring the rights to airing the pageant of Miss America which began I the 2006 event; the network has also publicized its plans to air supplementary realty shows weeks before the pageant for 2007.

Country Music Television has had major rating gains from the time when it was acquired by MTV Networks (2001). Now, the channel is available to more than eighty-three million U.S. homes.