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ABC to broadcast Academy Awards through 2020

The network and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences extend their agreement that was set to expire in 2014.

February 25, 2011|By Meg James, Los Angeles Times

One of the longest streaks in television history ... will continue.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC television network said Thursday that they had extended their licensing agreement by six years — through 2020.

The announcement comes just days before this weekend's 83rd annual Oscar gala on the network, and the new agreement keeps the Academy Awards telecast a fixture on ABC.

"This contract ensures that the Oscar show will be an ABC tradition for 45 consecutive years," Tom Sherak, the academy's president, said in a prepared statement. The contract had been scheduled to expire in 2014.

Foreign television rights for the Oscar telecast are covered by another contract with Walt Disney International, an arm of ABC's parent company, and that deal is negotiated separately. That contract also expires in 2014.

Financial details for the new contract were not disclosed. The domestic and international television rights provide the academy with approximately $70 million annually. The telecast is highly profitable for both parties. The academy relies on the television licensing to finance its operations, including staging the Oscar telecast and Governor's Ball.

And for ABC this year, the telecast is expected to garner at least $80 million in advertising revenue — up substantially over the last two years. Ratings for last year's telecast were up; nearly 42 million people tuned in. The ad rate for this year's show is closing in on a record of an average $1.7 million for a 30-second spot during the program.

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