Fox changes tune

Fox’s annual “Billboard Music Awards” kudocast is getting a little more country, and a little less rock and roll.

Actually, make that a lot more country: Nothing’s official yet, but Fox is expected to announce shortly that starting this year, the show will be rechristened the “Billboard Country Music Awards” and focus solely on music with a twang.

As part of the change, the show will move from its longtime Las Vegas base to Nashville, where the year’s most successful country artists will be honored.

Fox refused to confirm the country-fried change late Tuesday; insiders said the deal was not yet officially done.

But assuming nothing changes, Fox is entering an already-crowded — and highly competitive — country music award space.

Eager to tap into its solid adult 18-49 numbers, ABC recently lured the top-rated CMA Awards away from CBS. The Eye, meanwhile, still broadcasts the rival Assn. of Country Music Awards.

Country music cabler CMT also throws an annual musicvideo awards show; then there’s the Grammy Awards and the American Music Awards, both of which also honor country music (among the other genres).

Decision to revamp the Billboard show comes after last year’s telecast posted its lowest numbers yet (6.1 million viewers) and came in fourth for the night among adults 18-49 (2.7/7).

Fox first began televising the Billboard Music Awards in 1990; it hit a high in 1992, with 15.2 million viewers.

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