Miss America Moves to NBC for 2020 Competition

Miss America Nia Franklin - H Getty 2018
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The Miss America competition is on the move again, landing a new TV home.

NBC has snagged rights to the broadcast and will air the 2020 event on Dec 19 from the Mohegan Sun in Connecticut. The pageant competition has aired on ABC since 2011 and is coming off record-low ratings for last year's telecast, which eliminated swimsuit and evening-gown portions of the competition as the Miss America Organization sought to move away from judging candidates on their appearance.

NBC had a long run as the Miss America Organization's broadcast partner that ended in 1996, when ABC grabbed the rights. The latter dropped the competition in 2004, citing declining ratings, and it aired on CMT and then TLC for several years before returning to ABC in 2011.

"NBC is excited to once again team with our friends at the Miss America Organization in what we know will be an entertaining telecast featuring so many inspiring women," Doug Vaughan, executive vp special programs and late night at NBC, said Wednesday in a statement.

Added Miss America president and CEO Regina Hopper, "Miss America is thrilled to be back home at NBC with our 100th anniversary just around the corner. NBC is the perfect partner to tell the real stories of these intelligent, talented and socially conscious young women who will be the country’s next leaders."

Broadcast networks like to program live events as ways to draw audiences who increasingly watch on their own time, but ABC's Miss America telecast hit record lows for each of the past two years. In 2018, it drew 4.34 million viewers and a 0.7 rating among adults 18-49, with total audience falling about 23 percent vs. 2017.

Both of those broadcasts aired opposite Sunday Night Football on NBC — which obviously won't be an issue when both air on the same network. 

July 23, 11:25 a.m. Updated with date and venue information.