MySpace Star Tila Tequila Pumps MTV (VIAB)

Allow us to read the minds of Viacom brass: “Who cares about protesters in Times’ Square! Just make sure Tila Tequila’s vaccinations are up-to-date!”

It looks like Viacom’s Sumner Redstone may have been right about that “content is king” stuff after all. Or at least, content like, um, “A Shot At Love with Tila Tequila” and “The Hills.” Thanks to those two shows, the perennially buzz-less MTV now has a couple of hits on its hands, and has posted year-over-year ratings gains for Sept-Nov. for the first time in two years.

Ratings in MTV’s target demo of 12-34 were up 13% in November, according to an analysis of Nielsen ratings by Sanford Bernstein’s Michael Nathanson.

MTV’s surge couldn’t have come at a better time. The net’s channel-surfing audience drops off sharply during the ads — a fact that advertisers always knew, but which has become a much bigger problem for Viacom now that it has to guarantee viewership of commercial spots. But big numbers for “Tequila,” who got her start as a cyber celebrity, courtesy of News Corp.’s (NWS) MySpace, will make youth-obsessed advertisers forget all that. The show debuted with 1.8 million viewers in September, but recent installments have attracted more than 4 million viewers.

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