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Everything You Need to Know About Watching CMT on DirecTV

Country Music Television, better known as CMT, has been a go-to destination for country music lovers since it first launched nearly four decades ago. The channel has undergone a significant evolution in that time, transitioning from an outlet primarily focused on music videos to a more general entertainment network. But even as it has expanded into original series and specials, CMT has maintained its close ties to the country music world, making it a must-have for any fans of the genre.

For DirecTV customers looking to add a little twang to their TV lineup, here‘s a full rundown of where to find CMT and what kind of country content you can expect.

The History and Evolution of CMT

CMT first hit the airwaves on March 5, 1983, operating out of Hendersonville, Tennessee. In its early years, the channel primarily aired country music videos, along with occasional interviews and concerts. As country music exploded in mainstream popularity in the 1990s, so too did CMT. By 1994, it was available in over 24 million households.

In the 2000s, CMT began expanding its programming lineup beyond just music videos. It found success with original reality series like "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team" and "Trick My Truck." The channel also began airing more country music-themed specials, events, and awards shows.

The 2010s brought a major shift as CMT made a big push into scripted series. It started in 2012 when the channel picked up the drama "Nashville" after ABC cancelled it. The show, set in the country music world, marked CMT‘s first scripted original series. It was a hit, running for six seasons on CMT.

Today, CMT is a full-fledged general entertainment channel owned by Paramount Media Networks. It still airs country music videos in the early morning hours, but its schedule is primarily filled with a mix of syndicated shows, reality series, and a handful of original scripted series.

CMT‘s Ratings and Viewership

So just how popular is CMT in 2023? Here‘s a look at some key statistics:

  • According to Nielsen, CMT reached over 86 million households as of September 2022, making it one of the most widely available cable channels.

  • CMT ranks as a top 20 cable network among adults 18-49, averaging around 300,000-400,000 primetime viewers in the demographic most nights.

  • The channel‘s biggest hit in recent years was the Kevin Costner drama "Yellowstone," which averaged over 7 million viewers per episode across CMT and Paramount Network in its most recent season.

  • According to data from Vizio‘s Inscape viewership tracking, CMT captures about 0.75% of all live TV viewing most days, putting it on par with other niche entertainment cable channels like IFC and We TV.

While these numbers are solid, they also illustrate how CMT is operating in an increasingly fragmented cable landscape where only the biggest networks put up huge viewership numbers. This has led CMT to focus on more targeted programming to serve its core demographic of country music fans.

Finding CMT on DirecTV and DirecTV Stream

For DirecTV satellite customers, CMT can be found on channel 327 in both standard definition (SD) and high definition (HD). The channel is included in all of DirecTV‘s base channel packages:

Package CMT Included?
Entertainment Yes
Choice Yes
Ultimate Yes
Premier Yes

This means you don‘t need to pay for any additional tiers or add-ons to get CMT with DirecTV satellite.

It‘s a similar situation for subscribers to DirecTV Stream, the company‘s streaming cable TV service. CMT is included in all of DirecTV Stream‘s base packages, starting with the "Entertainment" package for $74.99 per month.

Package Monthly Price CMT Included?
Entertainment $74.99 Yes
Choice $99.99 Yes
Ultimate $109.99 Yes
Premier $154.99 Yes

This makes DirecTV Stream one of the most affordable options for streaming CMT. Other services like YouTube TV ($72.99/month), Hulu + Live TV ($82.99/month), and fuboTV ($74.99/month) all include CMT but have slightly higher starting prices.

Watching CMT on the Go with the DirecTV App

These days, watching TV doesn‘t just mean sitting in front of the living room flat screen. DirecTV has made it easier than ever for subscribers to take CMT and the rest of their channel lineup on the go via the DirecTV app.

Available for iOS, Android, and connected TV devices like Roku and Amazon Fire TV, the DirecTV app allows you to stream CMT live from anywhere. The app includes a handy guide feature that lets you browse through the DirecTV channel lineup and see what‘s currently airing on CMT.

You can also use the app to access CMT‘s on-demand library. This includes recent episodes of shows like "Nashville Squares," "Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders: Making the Team," and "CMT Crossroads." The on-demand library is a great way to catch up on any CMT programming you may have missed when it aired live.

It‘s worth noting that to access CMT or any other channels through the DirecTV app, you need to be a subscriber to either DirecTV satellite or DirecTV Stream. The app will prompt you to log in with your DirecTV credentials before you can start streaming.

CMT‘s Digital and Streaming Strategy

Of course, an app isn‘t the only way CMT is meeting audiences where they are in the digital age. The network has undertaken a number of initiatives to engage fans online and via social media:

  • The channel‘s official website offers a mix of articles, interviews, and behind-the-scenes content related to its shows and the country music world in general. Fans can also watch video clips and full episodes of select CMT series on the site.

  • YouTube: CMT maintains an active presence on YouTube, regularly uploading music videos, interviews, and digital original series to its 4.6 million subscribers.

  • Social Media: CMT has amassed over 7 million followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and TikTok. The channel frequently posts clips, photos, and other content related to its programming to keep fans engaged.

  • Pluto TV: For cord-cutters without a pay-TV subscription, CMT has made some of its older programming available to stream for free on Pluto TV, Paramount‘s ad-supported streaming service. The CMT-branded channel on Pluto mostly features older reality shows and music video blocks.

Paramount has also experimented with windowing some CMT content on its subscription streaming services. For instance, the first two seasons of "Yellowstone" are streaming exclusively on Peacock, while Paramount+ offers next-day streaming of some current CMT shows.

Going forward, it will be interesting to see if CMT leans even further into streaming. Paramount CEO Bob Bakish has indicated that the company is considering shifting some of CMT‘s programming to Paramount+ to make the streamer a more appealing value proposition for country music fans.

The Future of CMT in a Digital World

As with all cable channels, CMT faces an uncertain future in a media landscape that‘s rapidly shifting to streaming. Paramount‘s strategy of late has been to position Paramount+ as its main subscription streaming outlet, while maintaining its cable channels to serve traditional pay-TV audiences.

For now, that means CMT is likely to maintain a strong linear presence even as Paramount begins to shift some of its programming to Paramount+. The channel‘s ratings remain solid, if not spectacular, and its programming continues to resonate with country music‘s passionate fanbase.

But longer-term, don‘t be surprised if CMT starts to evolve into a streaming-first brand. With more consumers, especially younger ones, opting for streaming over traditional cable, Paramount may decide that the smart play is to pivot CMT to a digital-focused strategy the same way it has with Comedy Central and other channels.

One option would be to make CMT an add-on subscription channel within Paramount+, much like how AMC operates AMC+ or Lifetime has Lifetime Movie Club. This would allow die-hard CMT fans to keep getting their country music fix at a lower monthly price while giving Paramount+ a way to generate additional subscription revenue.

CMT could also simply start premiering more of its high-profile programming on Paramount+ while still maintaining a 24/7 live feed for DirecTV and other pay-TV providers. This approach would turn the cable channel into more of a "barker channel" for the streaming service, airing reruns of shows a few weeks or months after they debut on Paramount+.

Of course, all of this is just speculation for now. But what‘s clear is that as the media landscape continues to shift toward streaming, CMT will need to continue evolving its digital strategy to reach fans whenever and wherever they‘re watching.


CMT has come a long way from its origins as a simple country music video jukebox. While it maintains close ties to the country genre, it has expanded into a full-fledged entertainment destination.

For DirecTV customers, CMT remains an easy channel to access, whether through a traditional satellite subscription or the newer DirecTV Stream service. No matter how you watch, you can use your DirecTV login to stream CMT‘s live feed and on-demand library through the DirecTV app.

But as with all cable channels, CMT‘s future will be dictated by the continued shift from linear to streaming TV. The channel has taken some important steps to reach digital audiences, but don‘t be surprised if it starts to shift strategies to focus even more on streaming in the coming years.

One thing is for certain, though: as long as there are country music fans looking for a 24/7 destination to get their twang on, CMT will be there to meet that demand. The only question now is on what platforms it will be meeting that demand going forward.