MTV Hits Five-Year Ratings High With 27% Quarterly Gain


MTV, a division of Viacom Inc. (NYSE: VIA and VIA.B), delivered its best quarterly ratings in five years on the strength of a 27 percent year-over-year increase.   First quarter 2011 marks the network’s fifth consecutive quarter of year-over-year growth.  With hit shows “Jersey Shore,” “Teen Mom 2” and “The Real World: Las Vegas,” MTV has the #1 series across all of television as well as three of the top-10 original cable series. The strong momentum extends to the online space, where the MTV Networks Music Group is the #1 online music destination with 121 percent year-over-year growth. 

Ratings gains in the first quarter are fueled by a 91 percent spike in MTV’s “10 Spot,” the network’s branded 10pm – 11pm time period (Monday – Thursday) where it is the #1 destination on television.  In the first quarter, MTV posted rating gains for all of its returning “10 Spot” shows.

“Jersey Shore” season 3 is the quarter’s #1 series across all of cable and broadcast television, beating Fox’s “American Idol” in the prized 12-34 demo.  “Jersey Shore” is MTV’s #1 series of all time and continued to break its own records in season 3.  This new season grew by 35 percent from the prior season and by 196 percent from its first season.  

MTV’s “Teen Mom 2” is the #2 original cable series of 2011.  To date, “Teen Mom 2” is up 57 percent from the first season of “Teen Mom.”   MTV’s “Real World” franchise returned with strong ratings for its 25th season with “The Real World: Las Vegas.”  It is the #9 original cable series of the quarter, with ratings that are up 11 percent over last season’s “Real World: New Orleans.” Another returning reality hit, “My Life As Liz,” was up 70 percent over its first season.  

In addition to ratings success for all its returning series, MTV successfully seeded its new scripted Monday destination with “Skins,” which improved MTV’s Monday 10pm time period by 56 percent over first quarter 2010.   Currently airing in that time slot is returning comedy “The Hard Times of RJ Berger,” which premiered on March 24 after “Jersey Shore” with its most watched telecast ever.   Upcoming scripted series “Teen Wolf” will air on Monday nights starting June 6.  

Online, the MTV Music Group grew to nearly 58 million uniques, making it the most visited online music destination according to the U.S. comScore Media Metrix numbers for February 2011.  In the last year, MTV Networks Music Group experienced more than a 121 percent year-over-year uptick in web traffic due to strong organic growth, strategic partnerships and the success of its social media initiatives.  

Ratings Points


Overall (Q1 2011 versus Q1 2010)

P12-34 Live+SD Coverage Ratings

MTV Ten Spot: +91%, 3.302 vs. 1.732

MTV Prime Time:  +64%, 1.307 vs. 0.795

MTV Total Day:  +27%, 0.614 vs. 0.485


“Jersey Shore” season 3:  

#1 show on TV with P12-34

Averaged a 7.7 P12-34 rating and 6.0 million P12-34 viewers

Averaged 7.9 million total viewers

Season 1: 2.6 P12-34 rating

Season 2: 5.7 P12-34 rating


“Teen Mom 2”:

#2 original cable series

#1 in its Tue/10P time period

Averaged a 3.6 P12-34 rating and 2.9 million P12-34 viewers

Averaged 3.8 million total viewers

“Teen Mom” season one: 2.3 P12-34 rating

“Teen Mom” season two: 3.6 P12-34 rating


“Real World: Las Vegas”:  

#9 original cable series

#1 in its Wed/10P time period

Averaged a 2.1 P12-34 rating, 1.7 million P12-34 viewers

Averaged 2.0 million total viewers

“Real World: New Orleans”: 1.9 P12-34 rating


“My Life as Liz” season 2:  

Averaged a 1.7 P12-34 rating and 1.3 million P12-34 viewers

Averaged 1.7 million total viewers

Season 1: 1.0 P12-34 rating


“Skins” season 1:  

Averaged a 1.4 P12-34 rating and 1.1 million P12-34 viewers

Averaged 1.4 million total viewers

1Q11 time period average (Mon/10P): 0.9


“Hard Times” season 2:

Season 2 launch on 3/24/11: 3.2 P12-34 rating, +23% vs. season 1 launch after the “2010 MTV Movie Awards” (6/6/10; 2.6 P12-34 rating)

Averaged 3.1 million total viewers

Source:  The Nielsen Company.  1Q11.  P12-34 Live+SD Cvg Rtg unless noted.  Rank on P12-34 000s.  Improvement 1Q11 vs. 1Q10.

(Source: MTV)