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ACM, CBS SCORE BIG WITH OUR COUNTRY

The Academy of Country Music and CBS scored big with their swift reaction amid the postponement of The ACM Awards. With ACM Presents: Our Country, ACM CEO Damon Whiteside, CBS EVP of Specials Jack Sussman and producer RAC Clark provided unity and comfort to viewers, while showcasing the best of the genre in an all-star 2-hour telecast. 

Our Country not only became the most-viewed special among the COVID-19 music broadcasts, but it generated nearly 8m viewers and easily outpaced the competition. Compared to the 8-10pm window on average, the special was up +22% in viewers and more than +40% in key demos. CBS' rating of 1.0 during 8-10pm in the 18-49 demo bested NBC by 111% and FOX by 122%. 

“The idea was simple,” Clark explained to Holly Gleason in her behind-the-scenes report. “We’re all sitting at home; we’re all in this together. The opportunity for realizing the same collective experience everyone’s feeling—it’s Jungian. We’re having this moment that will probably only happen one time in human history, and we (the artists) want you to know you’re not alone.”

The broadcast also triggered incredible fan and viewer engagement. #ACMOurCountry was the #1 trend on Sunday night, which was kicked off by a digital pre-show on Facebook Live and Amazon Twitch. More than 9k fans tuned into the pre-show at its peak, which earned nearly 200k viewers total. 

Back to the music, the performances led to immediate movement on the iTunes singles chart. Kane Brown & John Legend's first live performance their new collab "Last Time I Say Sorry" lifted the song to #1 on iTunes, while Thomas Rhett's "Be A Light" and Blake Shelton & Gwen Stefani's "Nobody But You" landed inside the Top 10 behind intimate, isolated performances. 

 

Six songs from the broadcast entered the Top 20 by Monday morning. 

“From our radio, TV and digital partners to our labels and artist managers to our publishers and on and on – a huge THANK YOU for all you did to support this show,” said Whiteside. “The viewer response was so positive and it was wonderful to see our Country Music industry shine so bright [Sunday] night!”

During the broadcast, Bobby Bones introduced The ACM Lifting Lives COVID-19 Response Fund, which opened with an initial endowment of $250k, and an additional matching fund against ACM partners, sponsors and third-party donors of up to $250k. Partners, sponsors, and donors include The Bobby Bones Show, FirstNet, Built With AT&T and Amazon Music

Sussman told Gleason before the special, "This is a great opportunity that shows the true power of a creative idea executed. It was very much creative adaptability, and the power of network TV to be the big tent where everyone can come in. Having seen these performances, I hope they will." 

Mission accomplished. 

Hosted by Gayle King and featuring performances by Kelsea Ballerini, Brandi Carlile, Florida Georgia Line, Lady AntebellumMiranda LambertLittle Big Town and more, watch clips from the event here

Read Holly Gleason's behind-the-scenes pre-show report here

 

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