Fox Picks Up Un-Trumpified Miss Universe and Miss USA

Gives Network More Live Events

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Paulina Vega is crowned Miss Universe 2014-2015.
Paulina Vega is crowned Miss Universe 2014-2015. Credit: Courtesy of Fox Broadcasting Company

Fox will air the Miss Universe Pageant and has secured rights to Miss USA, two shows that had to find a new home on U.S. TV after controversial remarks about immigrants by Republican presidential candidate and former contest owner Donald Trump.

Contestants from more than 80 countries will take part in the 64th annual Miss Universe contest, which will air live from Planet Hollywood Resort & Casino in Las Vegas on Sunday, Dec. 20, the broadcast division of 21st Century Fox and pageant owner WME/IMG said Wednesday in a statement.

The next Miss USA contest will air in 2016 on Fox.

The event, now decoupled from the controversy surrounding Mr. Trump, gives Fox another live event to boost its last-place ratings among the four big TV networks. Live TV is one of the few types of programming that can compel viewers to watch in real time, instead of recording and skipping the commercials. Audiences have declined for all four broadcast networks so far this TV season, though ratings for sports like football have increased.

"The Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants are iconic television events loved by generations of viewers around the world," David Madden, president of entertainment for Fox Broadcasting, said in the statement. "We are very excited to partner with IMG and The Miss Universe Organization to infuse a fresh new energy into these perennial broadcast favorites."

WME/IMG, which operates more than 800 live events across the world, acquired the Miss Universe Organization in September from Mr. Trump. Comcast's NBC Universal, the former co-owner and broadcast partner for the pageant, cut ties with the event after Mr. Trump's controversial remarks about immigrants.

-- Bloomberg News

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