THE CMA AWARDS TO COME TO THE ABC TELEVISION NETWORK
Awards Will Air on ABC for the First Time in the Broadcast�s 40-Year History
Six-Year Deal Begins with November 2006 Broadcast
Network Also Announces �CMA Music Festival: Country Music�s Biggest Party,�
A Two-Hour Special to Air August 2
The ABC Television Network announced today that the Country Music industry�s crown jewel, the CMA Awards, will move to the network in 2006, and that the network will air a major Country Music special in the summer of 2005. The announcement was made by Stephen McPherson, president, ABC Entertainment and Ed Benson, CMA executive director.
The CMA Awards, the premier awards in Country Music and one of the highest-rated awards shows on network television, will have its ABC debut in November 2006, as the Awards celebrates its 40th anniversary. The �40th Annual CMA Awards� will be broadcast live from the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville, Tennessee.
The deal will keep the CMA Awards on ABC through 2012.
�Country Music is America�s music, and its value and contribution is undeniable,� said Mr. McPherson. �Our entire amazing team, including Andrea Wong, Mark Pedowitz and Mark Bracco, went to Nashville on a mission to show the CMA Board of Directors that ABC is the best home for this show. We�re committed to making the CMA Awards a bigger television event than it has ever been before, and we�re truly grateful to the organization for coming on board and giving us that opportunity. We�re thrilled to be able to begin this relationship in the Awards� historic 40th year.�
�This move by ABC speaks very favorably about the strength and popularity of Country Music today. CMA is perhaps the best known brand in Country Music, and our television properties, the CMA Awards and the CMA Music Festival, are proven winners. We are thrilled to have been sought after by ABC, and we�re looking forward to working with them,� said Mr. Benson.
The move of the CMA Awards marks the beginning of a partnership between the network, the CMA and the world of Country Music. This summer ABC will also be airing �CMA Music Festival: Country Music�s Biggest Party,� a two-hour special that takes audiences not only to the rollicking concerts, but into the heart of the annual CMA Music Festival, held in Nashville June 9-12. The special will air TUESDAY, AUGUST 2 (9:00-11:00 p.m., ET), on the ABC Television Network.
The CMA Awards were first broadcast in 1968, making them the longest-running, annual music awards program on network television. The first four broadcasts were on NBC, and for the past 34 years the show has been on the CBS Television Network. Traditionally one of the Top 5-rated specials of the year, more than 37 million people watched all or part of �The 38th Annual CMA Awards� (11.5/18), placing the 2004 November sweeps gala behind the Academy Awards and in a statistical tie with the Grammy Awards.
�Country Music has so much momentum, it has truly become today�s pop music,� said Andrea Wong, executive vice president, Alternative Series, Specials and Late-Night, ABC Entertainment. �We�ve embraced it on shows across the network � �Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,� �Good Morning America,� �Jimmy Kimmel Live� and the recent �Nick & Jessica�s Tour of Duty� � which all feature hot new talent, as well as country legends. Our audience really responds to Country Music, and we�re thrilled to deliver it.�