ViacomCBS announced Monday (June 28) that the CMT Music Awards — which has aired on CMT since 2002 — will have its global premiere exclusively on CBS starting in 2022. The show will broadcast live from Nashville in the spring, according to sources, moving it up several weeks from its usual June spot.
For the 2022 event, CMT will kick off the company’s first-ever Country Music Week by hosting weeklong special programming and events. These will be capped by exclusive “director’s cut” airings of the CMT Music Awards later on CMT and various ViacomCBS platforms.
It’s not immediately clear what this news means for the future of the Academy of Country Music Awards. The ACM Awards have aired on CBS since 1998, following previous stints on ABC (1972-78) and NBC (1979-97). The ACM Awards’ current contract with CBS expired this year and the two parties were unable to come to a new agreement, according to sources. Representatives for dick clark productions, which produces the ACM Awards, and CBS declined to comment. Representatives for the ACM Awards did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
The CMA Awards, which in 1968 became the first music awards show on television, announced last week that they have extended their deal with ABC through 2026. Their awards show traditionally airs in November, but the CMT Awards had kicked off CMA Music Fest’s week in early June, airing the night before the four-night fest started.
The CMT Music Awards have aired live since 2005. They have been held at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena in all but two years since 2009.
The 2021 show, hosted by Kelsea Ballerini and Kane Brown, aired on June 9 and featured the most ever first-time collaborations and blended-genre pairings in the show’s history. Standout performances included H.E.R. + Chris Stapleton, Gladys Knight, Mickey Guyton + Breland, and Needtobreathe + Carrie Underwood.
The show has attracted top hosts for much of its history. Little Big Town hosted the show in 2018-19. Other top-name hosts or co-hosts include Dolly Parton (2004), Billy Ray Cyrus & Miley Cyrus (2008), Toby Keith (2012) and Jason Aldean (2013).
The CMT Music Awards bills itself as country music’s only entirely fan-voted award show. Underwood is the most-awarded artist in CMT Awards history with 23 wins, including a remarkable nine wins in the top category, video of the year.
This year, the CMT Music Awards saw more than a 10% increase in total viewers and dominated as the No. 1 most social program across all of television for the night, according to Viacom CBS. Across the six ViacomCBS network simulcast, P18-34 ratings saw a +32% increase over last year’s event.
Assistance provided by Melinda Newman.
The ACM Awards are produced by dick clark productions, which is owned by MRC. MRC and Penske Media are co-parent companies of Billboard.