Just in case there weren’t enough of them already, Fox will launch a new country music awards show this fall.
The inaugural American Country Awards will air Dec. 6 live from Las Vegas, according to the Hollywood Reporter.
The awards show will run the same time of year that Fox used to air the Billboard Music Awards before that program went off the air four years ago. It’s a prime time because it gets artists in front of an audience during holiday buying season. The winners for the two-hour show will be fan voted.
The American Country Awards becomes at least the fourth country awards show, and the third on a major network: CBS airs the Academy of Country Music Awards in the spring, while ABC runs the Country Music Assn. Awards in the fall. Plus, CMT has its own video music awards show in June.
While country music sales have plummeted along with album sales in general, the drop-off has been less severe than in many other genres. Plus, country music still strongly appeals to the 18-49-year-old demo that still watches network TV. Add in the development of such artists like Taylor Swift and Lady Antebellum, who started at country and are still considered core country artists, and it looks like a pretty smart move.
The Hollywood Reporter also has a colorful graph that shows that country music awards have continued to draw steadily over the last few years or at least remain remarkably steady in a shaky climate. The CMA awards drew 16.8 million in 2009, while the ACM Awards attracted 13 million viewers this Spring. That figure is down almost two million from 2009, but still up 4 million from 2007.
The Grammys remain the strongest draw, attracting 26.6 million earlier this year, up a staggering 7 million from 2009.