Following the devastating hurricanes, horrific California wildfires and tragic mass shooting in Las Vegas, CMT transformed the annual “CMT Artists of the Year”’ special into a night of hope and healing through the power of music featuring honoreesChris Stapleton, Florida Georgia Line, Jason Aldean, Keith Urban and Luke Bryan. The live event from Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center notched its highest ratings to date to rank as the most watched in the event’s eight-year history. The 90-minute premiere telecast posted a .35 A 18-49 L+SD, a 61% year-over-year increase. The event performed even stronger with women notching .42 W 18-49, up 73% from one year ago. More than 1.1 million fans tuned in to the premiere telecast and the encore.
“We felt a commitment to our fans to transform the event into a night where we honor human resilience through music, and hopefully in the process lift the spirits of our fans,” said Frank Tanki, General Manager of CMT and TV Land. “We’re thrilled that the special connected with so many people, especially those who’ve been impacted by the recent tragedies.”
Given the recent shooting in Las Vegas, it’s especially poignant that the special performed strongest in that market, where it posted a 1.77 household rating, an increase of 1867%. The special generated significant growth in other top-tier markets as well, including Tampa (1.10 HH, +320%) ,Philadelphia (1.05 HH, +320%), New Orleans (1.03 HH, +1044%), Columbus (.63 HH, +688%) Denver (.56, +60%), San Diego (.49, +277%), New York (.33, +725%) and Boston (.27 HH, +59%).
CMT created three public service announcements for the special featuring top country stars like Blake Shelton and Dolly Parton. Leveraged media relationships helped amplify CMT One Country’s campaign to support victims of the recent tragedies, generating more than $1 million in media value across a myriad of platforms.
Socially, #CMTAOTY trended nationally on Twitter during the show. “CMT Artists of the Year” ranked as the #1 Most Social Entertainment Program in Primetime on Cable (Nielsen Social Content Ratings, Facebook & Twitter, excludes Sports and News Networks).
The 2017 “CMT Artists of the Year” was a high-spirited salute to fans, featuring cross-genre collaborations including “Rise Up” from Andra Day and Little Big Town, who set the inspirational tone for the evening. Andra Dayand Common also joined forces with Danielle Bradbery, Lee Ann Womack and Little Big Townfor a powerful performance of “Stand Up For Something,” earning a standing ovation from the audience. Additional performers includedBackstreet Boys, Luke Bryan, Phillip Phillips,Chris Stapleton, Keith Urban and Jason Aldean, who was joined by fellow honorees Stapleton and Urban to close the show with a message of perseverance on the late Tom Petty’s “I Won’t Back Down.”
The news comes on the on the heels of a strong year for CMT, which has posted ten consecutive months of year-over-year ratings growth with Adults 18-49 and with Women 18-49. Quarter-to-date, CMT is up +30% from year ago with Adults 18-49 and up +36% with Women 18-49. (L+SD, CMT Total Day).
Visit cmtonecountry.com to find out how you can help those affected by the recent devastating hurricanes, wildfires and mass shooting in Las Vegas.
“CMT Artists of the Year” will be retelecast on Thursday, October 19 at 12 a.m. ET/PT and Saturday, October 21 at 12 p.m., ET/PT.