Disney Reportedly Approaching Massive Deal to Retain CMA Awards

by Brandi Stillings

Airing every November for the past 15 years, the “CMA Awards” are currently working on a deal to stay on longer. ABC’s parent company, Disney plans on keeping the country music awards show on the network for several more years. Reportedly, they’re getting close to finalizing the $22 million a year deal.

The ABC network requires an annual license fee amount of $22 million for a multi-year contract, stated in Pop Culture.

In addition to funding from ABC, Disney’s also supposedly using Hulu and Disney+ for help on the deal. Both of their streaming services will be supporting the CMA’s with shoulder programming around the awards ceremony.

As of right now, the deal hasn’t been completed. PopCulture mentioned an announcement is expected sometime next week.

2020 ‘CMA Awards’ Lowest Numbers Ever

Hosted by Reba McEntire and Darius Rucker, the 2020 CMA Awards celebrated country music in an empty venue. It was held at Nashville’s Music City Center during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Obviously, the annual event is usually packed full of fans and live concerts. However, last year nominees and performers sat at small tables with everyone spread out. They pre-recorded a few performances to limit crowding.

For the first time ever, the 2020 award show failed to achieve their usual double-digit millions of viewers. Instead, they produced their lowest number in history at 7.1 million. Compared to previous years, they pulled 14.3 million viewers in 2017, and then in 2019 total viewers equaled 11.3 million.

‘ACM Awards’ Possible Plans to Change Networks

In search of a new TV network, the ACM Awards is another major country music award ceremony. The Wrap reported, that CBS, which has been airing the show since 1998, didn’t accept their initial demand.

Offering $22 million annually, they’re trying to license the ACM Awards for 2022. The music event plans on returning back to Las Vegas following the pandemic. They were hosting the awards show in Nashville for the past two years. Now, show producer Dick Clark Productions is reportedly trying to come up with a new deal.

Apparently, CBS initially declined to counter their $22 million demand, a $2 million increase compared to last year.

Similar to the CMA Awards, the ACMs suffered record-low numbers in the past few shows. In 2021, the awards ceremony only pulled their lowest ever at 6.3 million viewers. Pop Culture reported on the 2020 show, which was delayed from April to October, saw a then record-low of 6.8 million viewers. In addition, the 2019 ACMs drew 9.9 million viewers, its lowest number since 2007.