Here she comes, Miss America … to TLC.
In a surprise deal, Discovery Networks-owned TLC announced Monday that it has reached a multi-year agreement with The Miss America Organization to distribute the beauty pageant through 2010, beginning with the January 26, 2008 event.
Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but TLC president and general manager Angela Shapiro-Mathes in a statement said the deal also includes a reality series that will chronicle the preparations and journeys of the contestants.
"We're thrilled to partner with the Miss America Organization and to broadcast the next generation of the Miss America Pageant," said Shapiro-Mathes. "In addition, through a new reality series, we'll get to know 52 of the country's smartest and most beautiful women as they prepare for a competition they've dreamed of their entire lives.”
CMT: Country Music Television has aired the pageant the past two years before deciding not to exercise an option for the 2008 event. After setting a CMT ratings record with 3.1 million viewers in 2006, viewership for the 2007 version of the pageant dropped to 2.4 million.
Prior to CMT, the Pageant was aired on broadcast television.
"After thorough discussions and negotiations, we are confident that Miss America has found the perfect partner to host our Pageant," said Sam Haskell, III, chairman of the Board for The Miss America Organization in a statement. "Miss America's move to TLC will give it the proper promotion and attention it deserves. Our brand is rich in both philanthropy and history, and this new multi-million dollar partnership will not only preserve this wonderful institution, but will, in fact, build the Miss America brand.”