ABC, Country Music Association Extend Broadcast Deal Through 2021

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NEW YORK - Walt Disney's ABC network and the Country Music Association have extended their broadcast agreement through 2021 under a new 10-year deal that will keep the CMA Awards, the CMA Festival: Country’s Night to Rock and the CMA Country Christmas on ABC.

Financial terms weren't disclosed.

There was a three network bidding war for the country music shows, with CBS and NBC being in the mix in addition to ABC. The awards show in particular has been a key ratings driver for the Disney network, which won the show from CBS six years ago and drew more than 17 million viewers for last fall's edition.

The new ABC arrangement was announced by ABC Entertainment Group president Paul Lee and CMA CEO Steve Moore.

“We are thrilled that the CMA and country music will continue to call ABC their home for the next 10 years," said Lee. "We have built an incredible partnership together, and that partnership will only grow stronger over the next decade."

Said Moore: “ABC has demonstrated a passion for the format and our television properties. We have seen the CMA Music Festival special grow to three hours, we have added a holiday special, CMA Country Christmas, and our crown jewel, the CMA Awards, has reached a new, enthusiastic audience.”

The 45th Annual CMA Awards, hosted by Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, will air live on ABC tonight.

Founded in 1958, the Country Music Association was the first trade organization formed to promote a type of music.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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