Country music fans will have to change the channel to find out who wins the genre’s top prizes next year.
ABC has signed a six-year contract with the Country Music Association to broadcast the CMA Awards, usually a big ratings winner, beginning in 2006. The awards will move from CBS after being broadcast for more than 30 years on the network.
“Country music is America’s music, and its value and contribution is undeniable,” says Stephen McPherson, president of ABC Entertainment. “… 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.”
The CMA Awards are considered the top prizes in the country-music industry, and the show is always one of the highest-rated specials of the TV season.
Separate from the CMA deal, ABC has scheduled country star and new husband of Renee Zellweger Kenny Chesney for a concert special to air in November.