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ABC will continue to be the home of the annual Country Music Association Awards.
The network and the CMA have signed an extension of their deal that will keep the awards, along with annual specials CMA Fest and CMA Country Christmas, on ABC through 2026. The extension will take the awards through their 20th year on the broadcast outlet; ABC first aired them in 2006.
“Continuing our long-standing relationship with CMA is a top priority and opportunity — together, we bring unforgettable experiences to our audiences that capture the heart and soul of the country music community,” said Rob Mills, executive vp unscripted and alternative entertainment for Walt Disney Television. “We look forward to delivering many more memorable moments with celebrated icons as well as aspirational artists and are proud to be the home for these incredible and distinguished specials.”
The extension comes at a time when awards shows, including the CMAs, have taken a battering in TV ratings. The 2020 CMA Awards hit an all-time low in both total viewers (7.08 million) and the key ad demographic of adults 18-49 (1.1 rating), falling by 37 percent in viewers and 45 percents in the demo from 2019.
Despite those declines, however, the CMA Awards brought in one of ABC’s bigger same-day audiences in the 2020-21 season.
“Over the past 15 years, we have built a true partnership with ABC, and we are thrilled to continue our relationship through 2026,” said CMA CEO Sarah Trahern. “As television viewers are now consuming content in so many new and exciting ways, we are eager to work with the entire ABC team on creating additional paths to bring country music to audiences everywhere. As our genre continues to evolve and broaden, we look to this partnership as a key driver in expanding country music’s reach.”
ABC first aired CMA Awards in 2006; they had run on CBS for more than 30 years prior to that.
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