Viacom’s MTV, which transformed itself from being the pioneering purveyor of music videos to a full-service entertainment channel, has seen its ratings dwindle slowly but steadily in recent quarters. Nickelodeon, a destination for kids, has had relatively flat ratings.
In the second quarter, according to Nielsen Media Research, MTV generated an average rating of 0.6, or about 688,000 viewers, down from the same quarter a year earlier, when it got a 0.8, or an average of 826,000 viewers.
Among 18-49 year olds, MTV’s average viewers slipped to 486,000 from 545,000.

“I think one of the reasons is that so many channels now are getting into the realm of popular culture, which has been one of MTV’s strong suits,” said Rebecca Erlich, media director at ad agency StarLink Worldwide in Chicago.