On Thursday, the academy announced that it had struck a renewal deal with longtime broadcaster ABC to continue airing the Oscars until 2020. The current deal, signed in the wake of the highly-rated 1998 Oscars, does not expire till 2014. However, the two parties decided to get a new agreement in place well in advance.
As academy president Tom Sherak explained, “ABC is absolutely the very best place for the Academy Awards, a television event that is beloved and watched by millions of movie lovers all over the world.” Added ABC prexy Anne Sweeney: “We’ve enjoyed a tremendous partnership with the Academy, pairing the best in movies with the best in television, and look forward to a long and successful collaboration in the years to come.”
The first Oscar telecast was for the 1952 awards on NBC. The peacock net held the rights through the fifties, losing them to ABC in 1960, then reclaiming them in 1970. However, ABC has aired the Academy Awards continuously since 1976. For academy exec director Bruce Davis,”The network has consistently demonstrated an understanding of what makes us unique, and has energetically supported those qualities.”