Just in time for its 90th anniversary, the Miss America pageant has signed a deal to get back on network TV. Next year’s competition will air live on ABC on January 15, 2011.
The three-year agreement with ABC comes after the pageant’s nearly six-year absence from network TV due to record low ratings. Since 2004, the pageant had been aired on cable channels CMT and TLC.
Though happy with the deal, Sam Haskell, chairman of the Miss America Organization, declined to discuss the specifics.
“It’s a wonderful deal,” Haskell said to the Associated Press. “It’s much better than any deal we’ve had in the last five years.”
In light of the recent spat between Miss America and Miss USA, Haskell says that this deal will reposition the pageant to separate itself from its competitor, which is owned in a joint venture between Donald Trump and NBC.
“No little girl walks around saying, ‘I want to be Miss USA when I grow up.’ She says, ‘I want to be Miss America,'” said Haskell.
Read more about the agreement in The Washington Post.