Australia's annual ARIA Awards will return to Network Ten after the industry gala spent after a single, lackluster year with the rival Nine Network.
The free-to-air network today (May 5) said it had taken-on the broadcast rights and signed a multi-year deal with the ARIA trade association.
"The Ten Network has been our loyal partner for many of our last 24 years and it's an absolute thrill to be renewing our relationship once again," said ARIA chairman Ed St John in a statement issued.
Although a date has yet to be announced for the 24th show, industry sources reckon the event will be held in the first week of November. The Ten Network noted that the ceremony will be held following its broadcast of the Oct. 3-14 Commonwealth Games, and noted that the gala will have "a multitude of changes".
Prior to 2009, the free-to-air Ten had aired 15 of the previous 16 ceremonies. However, the Awards' organizers scrambled to secure a new ally when the broadcaster let its contract lapse early last year.
The single broadcast with the Nine Network last November was a ratings bust. Only 708,000 Australians tuned-in for the prime-time gala, some 400,000 viewers less than the 1.09 million who watched the October 2008 show on Ten.
Network Ten executives say they are committed to providing this year's ARIAs with a big bang. "Ten has a long history of making exciting BIG event TV moments, from live 'Idol' and 'Dance' finales to last year's incredibly popular 'MasterChef' finale," notes Network Ten chief programming officer David Mott. "We see the ARIA Awards in the same exact category."