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Romeo, Poleman: Let the trophy wars begin.
ACMS VS. iHEART AWARDS: THE TROPHY RATINGS BATTLE

The 51st annual ACM Awards and the third-ever iHeartRadio Music Awards are both airing on 4/3. Virtually the entire country music community will descend on Vegas for the former, while pop-culture connoisseurs will have their sights set on L.A. for the iHeart extravaganza. Who will prevail in the ratings? 

The two shows will clearly be competing for viewership on the East Coast, as iHeart is scheduled to broadcast on TBS, TNT and truTV at 8pm ET/5pm PT and the ACMs are set to hit CBS at 8pm live ET/delayed PT. That means, on the West Coast, they’re three hours apart. But will viewers have the stamina for two back-to-back, multi-hour award shows?Which is more likely to be time-shifted or viewed piecemeal online?

Both programs feature star-studded performance bills. Justin Bieber, Pitbull, Chris Brown, Maroon 5, ZAYN, Meghan Trainor, Demi Lovato, DNCE and Fetty Wap have so far been confirmed for thee iHeart telecast, while Kenny Chesney, Keith Urban, Tim McGraw, Carrie Underwood, Sam Hunt, Florida Georgia Line and more will grace the ACM stage.

Both shows have been promoted hot and heavy via their respective outlets.

This is the first year that Turner Networks will host the iHeartRadio Music Awards, which were previously shown on NBC. Last year, the event moved from the beginning of May to the end of March and matched the 1.7 rating with viewers 18-49 garnered from 2014's inaugural show among viewers and increased to 5.2m viewers overall (+5%), winning its time slot and giving NBC its best results in that time period since the SNL 40 special on 2/15/15.

Meanwhile, last year’s 50th ACM Awards—also on CBS—scored a 3.7/11 in 18-49 with 16.2m viewers overall for its primetime portion. That show, which aired 4/19/15, rose 10% from 2014’s 3.3 rating in the 8-11 p.m. prelims. The 2015 ACMs also drew the largest audience in 17 years.

In a related story, the ACMs' Bob Romeo and iHeart's Tom Poleman have agreed to a hot-oil wrestling match for the prize.

Whichever broadcast earns the best ratings will get the biggest trophy of all. Let the games begin.

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