NASHVILLE, Tenn. (BP)–The Gospel Music Association has signed a long-term agreement with dick clark productions to produce the 31-year-old Dove Awards and promote the Christian music awards program to network television.
GMA President Frank Breeden told The Tennessean newspaper in Nashville that the Dove Awards have been consistently on cable or syndicated TV for 15 years, but impressive Christian and gospel music sales suggest it’s time to shoot for a network presence.
Breeden and veteran producer and TV personality Dick Clark are scheduled to meet with network buyers during the week of Dec. 18 in hopes of working out a distribution deal for the 32nd annual Dove Awards, set for April 26 at the Grand Ole Opry House in Nashville.
“We’ve never really had a credible sales effort to the networks around this show. It’s always been an afterthought,” Breeden told the newspaper.
dick clark productions has a history of building award shows, said Senior Vice President of Production and Programming RAC Clark. Among the shows it produces are the Academy of Country Music Awards, the Golden Globe Awards and the American Music Awards.
RAC Clark, Dick Clark’s son and the former Nashville-based producer of TNN’s “Prime Time Country,” said the Doves are poised for growth.
“It’s a tremendous opportunity. This is an underserviced musical genre. It’s twice as big as Latin music here in the U.S.,” the younger Clark said.
Clark and Breeden said no decisions have been made about changes in the look and feel of the show, which will depend on the network that picks it up. Its host last year was Kathie Lee Gifford.
Breeden said the show probably can’t achieve the kind of ratings won by the ACM Awards. But he said ratings comparable to the Latin Grammys, broadcast on CBS, are possible.
The GMA hopes to promote the Doves with a TV ad campaign, something it has never enjoyed.
And even if the show doesn’t achieve its goal of a prime-time, live broadcast on a major network, the Clark deal puts the pieces in place for that in the future, Breeden said. “We’re treating it as if was an infant property on TV, because it’s never had this kind of a shot before.”