More Confident MTV Moves Upfront to April

Network gives up early start to opt for more traditional date
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MTV, encouraged by improved ratings numbers, is moving
its upfront presentation from an avant-garde February to a more mainstream date
in late April.

For the past two years, MTV, has been among the earliest
networks to try to attract the attention of media planners and buyers in
advance of the upfront advertising market, during which cable channels sell
more than half their commercial inventory.  

At the time, the network was searching for new strategies
to remain relevant with younger viewers, pitching research and an adjusted
programming approach.

Last year, MTV held its upfront on Feb. 2 at the
Hammerstein Ballroom in Manhattan. The event was attended by stars of the
successful Jersey Shore and the
soon-to-be-canceled Skins, as well as
Justin Bieber. Bruno Mars performed and buyers and planners got their look at
the acclaimed scripted show Awkward
and were told about the return of Beavis
& Butt-Head.

Most cable networks make upfront presentations during
March and April.

For 2012, MTV has scheduled its upfront presentation for
April 26. The network declined to say where the event will be held or provide
other details.

According to a spokesman, "In early 2010, we were eager
to communicate the results of our reinvention, millennial focus and programming
filter to the marketplace and decided to go out head to get that message out in
a less cluttered environment."

The network says its new approach worked. "In the last
two years, our overall ratings have grown nearly 30% and our primetime '10
Spot' audience has nearly doubled," the spokesman said. "With the marketplace
now well aware of our reinvention, we decided to return to a more traditional
upfront calendar in 2012 so that we're front and center during the key upfront
consideration period."

After MTV holds its presentation, A+E Networks is the
only cable programmer that will have an event in New York prior to the
broadcast upfront week, which starts May 14.

Other cable networks have schedule presentation during
that week, including ESPN, Turner Broadcasting and, most recently, USA Network.

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