The Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants got a new owner last month, and now they have a new TV home: Fox.
Fox will air the 64th Miss Universe Pageant live on Dec. 20 as part of the network's deal with IMG, the Miss Universe Organization's new owner. The agreement also gives the network domestic rights to air the Miss USA Pageant next year.
"Miss Universe is a unique, global media property and this partnership with Fox marks a new era for the Miss Universe Organization as a whole," said Michael Antinoro, IMG's svp of original content. "As the broadcast leader in innovative and groundbreaking live events, Fox is the perfect partner as we look to implement new and exciting changes to this show and the franchise."
David Madden, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting, said in a statement that the network's partnership with IMG and the Miss Universe Organization will "infuse a fresh new energy into these perennial broadcast favorites."
The pageants had long aired on NBC, which owned 51 percent of the Miss Universe Organization. But the network cut professional ties with Trump in June after his derogatory comments about immigrants.
Last June's Miss USA pageant ended up airing on Reelz, which pulled in less than 1 million viewers, its lowest audience ever (the previous year's broadcast on NBC averaged 5.56 million). In response, Trump sued NBCUniversal and Univision (which also dropped the broadcasts) for breach of contract but bought NBCU's share in the Miss Universe Organization as part of a settlement. (His Univision lawsuit is ongoing.) Trump then sold the entire company to WME/IMG in September.
The most recent Miss Universe Pageant, which aired Jan. 25 on NBC, was watched by 7.6 million viewers and was the night's highest-rated show among adults ages 18 to 49, with a 2.0 rating.