CBS Picks up Major Awards Show

The 2022 CMT Music Awards will air on CBS, ViacomCBS announced Monday. The only fan-voted country music awards show will air exclusively on the eye network starting next year. The ceremony will air live from Nashville on a date to be announced later. The 2021 awards aired on June 9 and were simulcast across several ViacomCBS-owned cable channels, including CMT, MTV, Paramount Network and TVLand.

Although the awards show will not air on the channel it is named after, CMT will still have special programming. There will be week-long special programming on CMT leading up to the show. After the live broadcast, a special "director's cut" will premiere on CMT and various ViacomCBS platforms. CBS did not announce a host for the 2022 show. Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown hosted the 2021 show.

The move comes after the surprising success of the 2021 CMT Music Awards. While most awards shows have seen a drop in viewers in recent months, the 2021 broadcast saw its audience grow by 10% in total viewers compared to the 2020 event. The combined 18-49 rating for the broadcasts across six ViacomCBS channels grew 32% over last year.

CBS is also in talks with Dick Clark Productions on renewing the Academy of Country Music Awards contract. The production company asked for a staggering $22 million a year, which CBS believes is far too much, sources told The Wrap. Insiders said CBS previously paid $20 million annually for the show, which has seen its viewership halved since 2018.

The CMT Music Awards is the oldest awards show to air on MTV, as its roots date back to before MTV even existed. In 1967, the now-defunct Music City News magazine launched the fan-voted Music City News Awards in 1967. In 1999, it merged with The Nashville Network's Viewers' Choice Awards. In 2001, the show moved to CMT. The show's current format has been mostly unchanged since 2005.

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Brown won two awards during the 2021 show, taking home Male Video of the Year for "Worship You" and Collaborative Video of the Year for "Famous Friends" with Chris Young. The Video of the Year award when to "Hallelujah" by Carrie Underwood and John Legend. Gabby Barrett's "The Good Ones" won Female Video of the Year and Little Big Town's "Wine, Beer, Whiskey" won Duo/Group Video of the Year.

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