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CMT Wins Rights to Miss America

Jun 27, 2005  •  Post A Comment

Country music channel CMT has reached a two-year agreement to televise the “Miss America Pageant,” the network announced Monday.

As reported in Monday’s issue of TelevisionWeek, CMT and WE were finalists in the bidding for the annual pageant, which has aired on broadcast networks for 50 years.

Viacom-owned CMT plans a multimillion-dollar promotional campaign across MTV Networks, including “Miss America” support programming leading up to the pageant on VH1. The pageant traditionally takes place in September, but due to delays in finding a network home the show has been pushed back to January 2006.

“Miss America’s move to cable will give it the proper promotion and attention it deserves,” said Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization. “Our brand is rich in both philanthropy and history, and this new multiplatform partnership not only will preserve this institution, but in fact build the Miss America Organization as we begin this new chapter.”

Mr. McMaster pitched networks on a revitalized Miss America complete with an accompanying reality series showing the lead-up to the pageant. WE agreed to the reality series along with the pageant, while CMT offered to televise the series and a “reality component,” possibly referring to the support programming planned for VH1.

“‘Miss America’ is one of this country’s great enduring institutions, and creatively we are introducing new ways to honor the pageant’s rich tradition while also exploring some of the great behind-the-scenes stories that our audience will be able to experience for the first time,” said Paul Villadolid, VP of programming and development for CMT.

CMT is available in 77 million homes. For first quarter 2005, the network was up 12 percent among all viewers for total-day programming but slipped 9 percent in prime time.