Media Relations: media commentary and criticism

Tuesday, June 28, 2005


-- television -- and there she is! ... on CMT?

The Miss America Pageant has landed. News - CMT to Telecast the Miss America Pageant

CMT and the Miss America Organization have reached an agreement to telecast the Miss America Pageant on CMT in January 2006, it was announced Monday (June 27) by Brian Graden, president, entertainment, MTV Music Group and president, Logo; Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization; and Brian Philips, executive vice president and general manager, CMT. CMT will retain telecast rights through 2007, with options through 2011.

CMT plans a multi-million dollar promotional push behind the Miss America Pageant, with resources within CMT and across MTV Networks. VH1 will air Miss America-related programming leading up to the premiere of the pageant on CMT in January.

I'm guessing that the "Miss America-related programming" that's going to be on VH1 will be the reality-television aspect that they were talking about earlier. Given what VH1 has televised so far during the Summer of Cheese -- Kept, featuring several young men who wish to be Jerry Hall's kept boytoy; Strip Search featuring several scantily clad young men who wish to be Chippendale-type dancers, with Surreal Life 5 and other fun stuff forthcoming -- I suspect that if this is true, VH1 is going to push very far in a direction that Miss America will find itself somewhat uncomfortable with.

That said, it makes sense to try to leverage VH1 and the other MTV networks to increase the pageant's visibility on what is a much less viewed network. While it was originally created to appeal to slightly older viewers, VH1 has long since abandoned that to head for more or less the same viewer group as sister net MTV. (And, like on MTV, VH1 actually showing videos would now seem ... quaintly antique, really.) Programming on MTV and VH1 may be able to pull some of those viewers in to watching the actual pageant -- assuming, of course, that their cable system actually carries CMT. Carriage is going to be a real issue for anyone not purchasing digital cable; many nondigital systems simply don't carry CMT.

CMT and Miss America are a more logical match than WE and Miss America would ever have been. CHT has a much larger male audience than WE, and an audience that is viewed as more conservative and traditional, and Miss America is nothing if not conservative and traditional. And hey! babes in bathing suits!

It'll be interesting to see how this all works out for them.

Posted by iain at 11:45 AM in category television