Photo: Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for ACM
That’s huge, all of you: Amazon Prime Video has landed the rights to the 2022 Academy of Country Music Awards, marking the first time that a major entertainment industry kudocast will air exclusively on a streaming platform. The one-year deal comes after CBS and ACM producer Dick Clark Productions broke off talks on a new licensing deal for the show earlier this summer, ending a 23-year series. years for the program on the Eye network. Amazon’s announcement of the deal only mentions Prime Video, but it would make sense if the company would also use ACMs to channel audiences to its free, ad-supported IMDb TV platform, thereby enabling an audience wider to watch next year’s shows and also avoid criticism of awards placed behind a pay wall. IMDb TV is fully integrated with Prime, so Prime customers would barely notice the difference if that happened. Amazon could in theory also simultaneously stream ACMs on its Twitch platform, further aggregating an additional audience.
Amazon has taken aggressive action to steal some of the last remaining advantages of television over streaming. It has a deal in place to become the exclusive home of Thursday Night Football next year, and this fall syndication queen Judy Sheindlin (aka Judge Judy) switched to IMDb TV with what could be a daily court show. “Reaching this milestone with our Academy of Country Music and MRC partners as the first major awards show to be broadcast live is a testament to our dedication and commitment to continue to entertain and innovate for our audiences,” Vernon Sanders, co-director of television, Amazon Studios, said in a press release announcing the acquisition.
The pact with Amazon is also a big step for Dick Clark Productions and his parent company MRC, the studio behind the Netflix pioneer. Card castle. Its awards business has been threatened by the drop in ratings of all the televised ceremonies, with the networks making it clear that they will not continue to pay huge sums for the rights. While the deal with Amazon is currently only one year, if the 2022 telecast is deemed a success, it could open up a significant new revenue stream for MRC and potentially help avert disaster for the industry. rewards. âOur team is excited to be part of the creative and entrepreneurial innovations that streaming technology will unleash,â MRC co-CEO Modi Wiczyk said in the statement.
While neither Amazon nor MRC-owned Dick Clark Productions talk about terms or money, The Wrap reported in June that CBS has been asked to pay north of $ 20 million a year to continue airing the show, a staggering sum given the huge audience drops for nearly all awards shows, including ACMs. (This year’s broadcast drew just over 6 million viewers, half as many as in 2018.) CBS embraced and quickly announced plans to convert the CMT Awards (from sister cable network CMT) into a exclusive to CBS. Dick Clark Productions then began purchasing ACMs from other outlets, including NBC, which broadcasts the Golden Globes produced by DCP. Vulture hears that NBC, like CBS, was hesitant about the money DCP was asking for ACMs. What is not clear is how much Amazon is committing to the deal, although a source familiar with the conversations suggested that the figure of over $ 20 million suggested by the Wrap was not. matched by Amazon.