MTV Analysis

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SCHEDULING STRATEGIES:

MTV's schedule is constantly changing. They usually have at least 3 nights of primetime first-run programs, while the other nights are either re-runs or other specials. They fill gaps in the schedule by showing feature films and a few acquired series relevant to their audience. The timeslots leading up to premieres are usually a marathon of episodes of weeks' past. They rely on a lot of repetition in the form of marathons, especially on the weekends. They also make good use of tent poling by scheduling longstanding reliable series like THE REAL WORLD at 10PM and new, untested content either right before or at 10:30 or 11PM.

JULY 2012 PRIMETIME RATINGS ANALYSIS:

Live Primetime Ratings Comparison / July 2012 vs. July 2011 (% Change)

HH

M18-49

F18-49

P18-49

Monday 8-11pm

0%

-11%

-8%

-9%

Tuesday 8-11pm

-41%

-42%

-46%

-42%

Wednesday 8-11pm

-25%

-46%

-33%

-35%

Thursday 8-11pm

63%

0%

75%

50%

Friday 8-11pm

-38%

-29%

-36%

-33%

Saturday 8-11pm

-25%

0%

-50%

-30%

Sunday 8-11pm

-38%

-57%

-36%

-44%

MTWTFSS 8-11pm

-20% 

-22%

-29%

-23%

Source: The Nielsen Company's National Television Audience Sample

MTV posted declining monthly and yearly numbers throughout July due to a number of factors. The most obvious culprit was TEEN MOM, which has fallen dramatically from its second season zenith. But like fellow fading star JERSEY SHORE, MOM manages respectable ratings despite an alarming outflow of viewers.

Though MOM has become a shadow of its former self, the show still commands an audience large enough to earn it the top telecast of the month. Unfortunately, MOM only reached the top spot thanks to the softness of July programming.

As usual, MOM’s audience was highly female skewing, especially among women in the 18-49 range. The show’s satisfactory ratings boosted Tuesday above all other nights save Thursday.

Thursday nights featured struggling spinoff SNOOKI & JWOWW. After premiering to disappointing numbers last month, SNOOKI continued to slip in the ratings. Women 18-49 are the top watchers of the show, but even this group has displayed far less interest in SNOOKI than the original SHORE.

Despite lukewarm reaction to SNOOKI, the show was still one of MTV’s most successful programs due to the network’s sluggish month overall. The fact that SNOOKI was one of MTV’s highest rated shows is all the more alarming when its 44% drop from June is taken into account.

Thursday nights also featured AWKWARD, now in its second season. While AWKWARD isn’t matching its first season highs, the show has maintained a solid audience. All five of the program’s premiere episodes for the month cracked the network’s list of top 20 telecasts.

The highest rated program for the network overall was TEEN WOLF, which returned for a second season in June. Though WOLF has slipped slightly from last year, the show remains a success story for MTV. After the poor performance of SKINS, WOLF finally validated the network’s bold plunge into scripted television.

Part of the show’s success lies in its cross gender appeal. Though more women tune in for the show, WOLF has attracted the elusive male audience. Similar to REAL WORLD, WOLF is the rare show that doesn’t polarize genders.

REAL WORLD, now in its 27th season, continues to defy the typical lifespan of a typical MTV show. WORLD was the third highest rated show on MTV, finding the core of its viewers among women 18-49.
The rest of MTV’s schedule was very quiet, featuring a smattering of reruns from RIDICULOUSNESS, FANTASY FACTORY, and other male skewing shows.

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