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CBS Sets Deal to Keep Grammy Awards Telecast Through 2026

CBS has set a new deal with the Recording Academy to keep the Grammy Awards telecast through 2026, a pact that marks the longest continuous partnership of a network and a major kudocast.

CBS and the Recording Academy extended their existing deal by five years, which means the Grammys. Under the terms of the agreement, CBS will air the Academy’s annual two-hour Grammy specials as well as other programs about which details will be released in coming months. The Grammys have been a mainstay on CBS since 1973.

“To know we have a decade ahead of us and to know where we’re going to be is a very important part of our business and is of great benefit to us,” said Neil Portnow, president-CEO of the Recording Academy, told Variety.

Financial details of the deal were not disclosed. CBS is said to have paid about $20 million a year for the Grammy rights in its recent deals with the Recording Academy.

The two sides reached the long-term pact at a time when major networks have begun to rely more heavily on live franchises, such as big sports games and championships and awards programs. ABC has a multi-year deal with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences to air the Oscars, while NBC is the home of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association’s Golden Globe Awards. These big-league contests and live awards programs generate larger-than-usual audiences who typically can’t skip the ads because they are watching live, and who generate significant social-media activity around the events.

“The broadcast of the Grammys and our long-standing relationship with extraordinary partners at the Recording Academy represent an important part of CBS’ past and future, said CBS Corp. chief Leslie Moonves.

CBS’ Feb. 15 broadcast of this year’s Grammy fete snared  24.95 million viewers, a slight rise from the audience the event captured the previous year. Fewer viewers between the ages of 18 and 49, the demographic most coveted by advertisers, tuned in to the event, however.

CBS aired the program on a Monday, rather than on its usual Sunday, and had its best showing on that night since 1994. In comparison, the Oscars, which typically snares more viewers overall, saw its audience shrink this year to 34.425 million – its smallest audience since 2003.

CBS’ previous pact with the Recording Academy was a 10-year deal that ran through 2021.

(Pictured: Leslie Moonves, chairman and CEO of CBS Corp. (left) and Neil Portnow, president and CEO of the Recording Academy.)

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