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Turner Cable Networks to Air 2016 iHeartRadio Music Awards

After a couple of years on NBC, the “iHeartRadio Music Awards” are headed to the Turner cable networks, with the live event to be simulcast next April on TBS, TNT and TruTV.

Turner Broadcasting System, Inc. said Monday it had forged a multiyear deal with iHeartMedia under which the three networks will be the new television home of the kudocast, which celebrates the world’s best music and performers. The show will also be broadcast live on iHeartMedia radio stations nationwide and across TBS, TNT, TruTV and iHeartRadio’s digital platforms.

The “iHeartRadio Music Awards” wasn’t a ratings juggernaut on NBC, but it did decently for a new event in a crowded music-awards show field. Its first telecast, on a Thursday in May 2014, averaged a 1.7 rating in adults 18-49 and 5.48 million viewers overall, according to Nielsen. The show switched to a new month (March) and day (Sunday) this year, producing comparable numbers (1.7 in 18-49, 5.26 million viewers overall).

The Turner networks should be able to create some noise for the event, as it will be held on the night between TBS’ exclusive coverage of the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Championship Final Four on April 2 and the network’s first-ever telecast of the National Championship game on April 4. CBS has similarly used the highly watched basketball games to sandwich its telecast of the Academy of Country Music Awards, last doing so in 2014.

Over its first two years, the iHeartRadio Music Awards have included live performances and appearances by Rihanna, Iggy Azalea, Sam Smith, Lady Gaga, Taylor Swift, Madonna, Meghan Trainor, Katy Perry, Jennifer Hudson, Kelly Clarkson, Snoop Dogg, Nick Jonas, Blake Shelton, Kendrick Lamar, Pharrell, Pitbull and Shakira.

Fans cast their votes for the winners through social media. During the awards’ inaugural year, more than 65 million votes were cast across Facebook and Twitter, and the show generated 8.5 billion impressions on social media. This year’s event grew by nearly 75% to generate more than 14 billion social media impressions, three times more than the Academy Awards.

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