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Motion picture academy and ABC renew Oscars pact [Updated]

February 24, 2011 |  1:58 pm

One of the longest streaks in television history ... will continue.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the ABC television network said Thursday they had extended their licensing agreement six years, through 2020. The agreement keeps the Academy Awards telecast a fixture on ABC, and the announcement comes just days before this weekend's 83rd annual Oscar gala on the network.

"This contract ensures that the Oscar show will be an ABC tradition for 45 consecutive years," academy President Tom Sherak said in a prepared statement.

The contract had been scheduled to expire in 2014.  

Foreign television rights for the Oscar telecast are covered by a separate contract with Walt Disney International, an arm of ABC's parent company, and is separately negotiated. That deal also expires in 2014. 

Updated 2:07 p.m:  Financial details for the new contract were not disclosed. The existing license agreement is part of a television rights package that provides the academy approximately $70 million annually. (This version clarifies an earlier post) The telecast is highly profitable for both parties. The academy relies on the television licensing to finance its operations, including staging the Oscar telecast and Governor's Ball.  

And for ABC this year, the telecast is expected to garner at least $80 million in advertising revenue -- up substantially over the last two  years.  The ad rate for the show is near a record of an average $1.7 million per 30 second spot during the program.

-- Meg James

Related articles: 

ABC, Academy offer backstage view of Oscars for a fee

Oscar Gold: Academy aims for younger audiences