In 1983, Glenn D. Daniels launched CMT, a television channel targeting fans of Country Music
. Opryland USA bought the network in 1991, adding it to its roster alongside the similar TNN. By 1993, CMT went international, with a European branch. Viacom bought the two networks in 1997, with TNN eventually changing to Spike TV
CMT began with a programming line consisting mainly of country music videos, but under the ownership of Viacom, it has changed focus
much like MTV
, albeit to a lesser degree. While many of the initial non-video programs were logical choices (reruns of Hee Haw
and The Dukes of Hazzard
, plus a country-themed revival of The Singing Bee
), the network has moved further and further away from its country roots with programs such as Extreme Makeover Home Edition
, Are You Smarter Than a 5th Grader?
, Married... with Children
, etc. However, they continue to show videos often enough that they maintain a fan-voted video countdown show. They also have their own country music awards show, hosted by Kid Rock
CMT also maintains a sister channel, CMT Pure Country (formerly known as VH-1
Country), which is still primarily dedicated to music videos. Rival network Great American Country is also more video-focused.