2016 iHeartRadio Awards Will Air on Turner's TBS, TNT & TruTV
The third annual iHeartRadio Music Awards, set to air Sunday April 3, 2016, will have a new home: Turner Entertainment’s TBS, TNT and truTV, who will take over from previous broadcast partner NBC. The three networks’ simulcast will kick off a multi-year deal to broadcast the telecast, which will also air on iHeartMedia radio stations across the country as well as iHeartRadio’s digital footprint.
“The iHeartRadio Music Awards has quickly established itself as a unique live event an awards show for the digital age that brings together millions of music fans globally,” Kevin Reilly, president of TBS and TNT and chief creative officer for Turner Entertainment, said in a statement. Next year’s awards will air in between Turner’s coverage of the NCAA Final Four and National Championships games, which Reilly said “will make for an incredible weekend for sports and music fans alike.”
The 2015 iHeartRadio Awards aired March 29 for a second year on NBC and featured performances from Rihanna and Madonna featuring Taylor Swift. Ratings were flat among adults 18-49, with a 1.7 share, while total viewers grew slightly to 5.2 million, according to Nielsen's Fast Overnights. The awards are also highly social: with fan-voted categories, more than 65 million votes were cast for the show's first year via Facebook and Twitter.
The iHeartRadio Music Awards will be the second music awards show to air on Turner networks by next year -- the inaugural Live Nation Music Awards are set to debut Oct. 1 on TNT and TBS. Other current iHeartRadio TV and live-stream events include the iHeart Festival in Vegas every September, which re-airs as a special on The CW, the iHeart Summer Pool Party, which was live-streamed on Yahoo May 30, and the Jingle Ball holiday concert, also on The CW in December.
Tom Poleman, president of iHeartMedia's national programming platforms, discussed the iHeartRadio Awards' initially mixed reception in a September 2014 interview with Billboard. "It was a great learning experience," Poleman said at the time. "We doubled NBC's ratings from the previous Thursday night and they're going to put us on a Sunday night, which is great. [The skepticism] is similar to the first year we did the iHeartRadio Festival. The music industry didn't understand what we were trying to do, but when they saw it they were like, 'OK, I get it.'"