Radio-TV Broadcast History
Country Music Television, Inc. (CMT)
CMT Logo
LaunchedMarch 5, 1983
Owned byViacom
Picture format480i (SDTV)
HeadquartersNashville, Tennessee, United States
Formerly calledCMTV (1983)
Sister channel(s)MTV, VH1, CMT Pure Country, CMT Canada
WebsiteOfficial Website
DirecTVChannel 327
Dish NetworkChannel 166
Available on most cable systemsCheck local listings for details


Country Music Television, or CMT as it is usually called, is an American country music-oriented cable television network. Programming includes music videos, taped concerts, movies, biographies of country music stars, and reality programs. CMT is owned and operated by MTV Networks, a subsidiary of Viacom.


CMT used this logo from 1991 to 2004. The first version of the logo consisted of a red "C", a yellow "M", and a blue "T", all in black squares, similar to a child's alphabet blocks, and was seen in various color schemes in Station IDs. In 1997, a "GENUINE" stamp was added to the logo. Its colors were swapped in 2000 by MTV.

CMT was launched on March 5, 1983 at 6:19 PM CST, created and founded by Glenn D. Daniels and uplinked from the Video World Productions facility in Hendersonville, Tennessee (see the founder's website at for more details.) Daniels put together the investor group of Telestar Corporation and the penny stock company Blinder and Robinson in a 3-way ownership split.

Glenn D. Daniels was the creator, founder, Program Director and first President of the network, originally called "CMTV" but always "Country Music Television." The "V" was dropped in response to a complaint by competitor MTV. CMT(V) beat The Nashville Network (TNN) on the air by 2 days and became the chief competition to TNN until Gaylord Entertainment Company (then-owner of TNN) bought the financially-strapped network in 1991. CMT was positioned to play 24-hour country music videos, while TNN was geared toward programming lending itself to a "country lifestyle". The channel launched with announcer Coyote McCloud saying "From music city, Nashville, Tennessee, you're watching CMTV, America's first full time country music network", followed by the first video to air on CMT was a performance clip of country music legend Faron Young's 1971 hit, "It's Four in the Morning", along with Mickey Gilley's 1980 hit "Stand by Me". The first conceptual video to air on CMT was Sylvia's 1981 hit "The Matador", as well as two-minute interviews from country music stars. From 1983 to 1991, CMT was owned and operated by Video World Productions.

In 1991, Gaylord Entertainment acquired TNN and CMT. In 1994, CMT began to make room for programming, such as Big Ticket, Jammin' Country, CMT Signature Series, CMT Top 12 Countdown, CMT Delivery Room, CMT Showcase, and CMT Saturday Nite Dance Ranch. During that time, Webb Wilder was the voice for CMT. In 1992, CMT went international by launching CMT Europe. Around that time, CMT had various segments such as CMT Soundbite, CMT Beat, Hot Shot, CMT Triple Take, CMT PickHit, CMT Breakout Video, CMT Sneak Peek, and CMT Rising Star Video. When CBS Cable bought TNN and CMT in 1997, Stone Country, and CMT Request Line were added to the lineup.

In 1997, both networks were acquired by Westinghouse, the owner of the CBS network. The acquisition of the two country-themed networks, along with the formation of the now-defunct "Eye On People" network, and two regional sports networks (the Baltimore-area Home Team Sports, now Comcast Sportsnet Mid-Atlantic, and Midwest Sports Channel in the Twin Cities, now FSN North) formed the CBS Cable division, based in Nashville at the Grand Ole Opry and a Charlotte office at Lowe's Motor Speedway.

In 1999, Viacom acquired CBS, assuming ownership of CMT and TNN and folding them into the MTV Networks stable. The resulting moves in 2000 led to the closing of the CBS Charlotte office, while Viacom changed the format of TNN, eventually renaming it Spike TV. Viacom also changed the format of CMT, modeling it after MTV to include shows and movies in addition to music videos. Over time, the number of music videos on the network has continued to decrease with the addition of the CMT Pure Country (originally VH1 Country) digital-tier network.

CMT has experienced significant ratings gains since its acquisition by MTV Networks in 1999. As of 2007, the channel is available in more than 83 million homes.[1]

Current programming[]

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File:Cmt building.jpg

CMT's headquarters are located in offices atop a parking garage in downtown Nashville, Tennessee.

CMT's current programming features country music-oriented shows (i.e. country music videos, taped concerts, etc.), country lifestyle-oriented shows, and old shows and movies that prominently feature country or Southern-rock music. Much like sister channel VH-1, CMT has become a sought-after pop-culture channel in the last few years, with added emphasis on specials, countdowns, and reality programs as well as music videos.

Popular shows on CMT include Crossroads (a country artist is paired with an artist of a different genre, usually classic rock), Cross Country (two country music artists are paired), CMT Giants (a country legend is honored by current artists), Power Picks (online voting for upcoming videos), and Trick My Truck (big rig truck mechanics customizing trucks).

CMT also shows country/rural lifestyle movies such as A Wedding on Waltons Mountain and Broken Bridges. Specials on the network include profiles of country artists and award shows such as the CMA Awards and CMT Music Awards. CMT also offers the only country music oriented video game, titled CMT Presents: Karaoke Revolution Country, released in early/mid 2006 on PS2 as a karaoke and dancing game.

CMT has launched several reality TV shows including Gone Country, Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team, Ty Murray's Celebrity Bull Riding Challenge, The Ultimate Coyote Ugly Search, and others.

Reruns are a staple of CMT's programming. The Dukes of Hazzard aired on CMT from 2004 until early 2008, when it was dropped without explanation, as did Hee Haw on a sporadic basis. Reruns of several shows that seemingly have little or nothing to do with country music air or have aired recently on CMT, including MTV's Two-A-Days, VH1's Hogan Knows Best and (currently) Trading Spouses.

See also[]



  1. Underwood, Ryan (2007-04-15). "If it has a screen, CMT is on it", The Tennessean. 

External links[]

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es:Country Music Television fr:Country Music Television nl:Country Music Television ja:カントリー・ミュージック・テレビジョン pt:Country Music Television simple:Country Music Television