The Country Music Association Expands International Reach With Announcement Of Television Broadcast Agreement With RTL Germany And Additional Initiatives In The Territory

The Country Music Association Expands International Reach With Announcement Of Television Broadcast Agreement With RTL Germany And Additional Initiatives In The Territory

The Country Music Association is continuing to further the expansion of Country Music abroad by securing the television broadcast of the CMA Awards on German television. “The CMA Awards” will be broadcast by RTL’s free-to-air Vox channel in Germany, Switzerland and Austria this November.  In addition, RTL has also licensed CMA’s two additional TV properties, “CMA Fest” and “CMA Country Christmas.”

Leading up to the CMA Awards broadcast airing on RTL’s Vox channel on Tuesday, Nov. 26, RTL Radio will launch a new 24/7 online radio station in October via the RTL Radio app, featuring the biggest Country hits from the past decade to the present. The station will be hosted by Germany’s best-known morning show host DJ Arno Müller.

“We are thrilled to be bringing the CMA Awards and our other TV properties to Germany,” says Sarah Trahern, CMA Chief Executive Officer. “With the ever-increasing demand for Country Music in Europe, we’re excited for international viewers to have the opportunity to experience these shows that are so important to the Country Music community.”

“The CMA Awards is one of the most glamorous and high-profile events in TV worldwide,” says Bernd Reichart, Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland Chief Executive Officer.  “We are very pleased to be bringing it to a German TV audience through Vox.”

This new deal was brokered through the Bertelsmann Content Alliance by Hartwig Masuch, BMG Chief Executive Officer, which made its largest label acquisition to date in 2017 when the company acquired Nashville’s Broken Bow Music Group with the vision to develop Country Music’s popularity internationally.

“Country Music is one of the most dynamic genres in the world of music, and I am convinced there is a huge opportunity for Country in Germany,” says Masuch. “We are delighted to work with the Country Music Association and our colleagues at RTL to create this significant promotional platform across the GSA territories.”

Masuch is a member of CMA’s German Task Force, which CMA developed in 2018 in an effort to work with senior industry leaders in the territory to identify opportunities to further the Country Music market in Germany. Through establishing international task forces, CMA’s goal is to develop relationships that will make a difference and provide value to the individuals and companies on the ground that are working hard to grow Country Music in each territory. CMA works with task forces to conduct research in international markets, educate Country artists and fans, and support Country activity in international markets.

In addition to its growing popularity in Germany, Country Music’s international resurgence continues to be seen all across Europe. With the Country to Country festival’s launch in 2013 in London, it continues to see growth each year including its expansion into other European countries including Germany. While in Germany, the show—with a lineup of artists including Cam, Brett Eldredge, Lindsay Ell and Keith Urban—sold out two nights at Berlin’s Verti Music Hall.

In 2019 CMA launched its artist-focused international touring series, Introducing Nashville, to continue its mission to support the expansion of Country Music around the globe. Replicating a Nashville songwriter’s round, the tour, which includes stops in Hamburg and Berlin in October, features artists appearing on stage together in an acoustic lineup, introducing their songs and talking about their careers and personal stories.

CMA’s efforts to expand the genre in the German market also include presenting a Country showcase at Hamburg’s Reeperbahn Festival next week. CMA will be involved in multiple aspects of the festival including participating in a panel and networking reception, as well as the showcase concert. The showcase, titled “Neon Nashville,” will take place on Wednesday, Sept. 18 at Thomas Read, displaying the diversity of some of Country’s rising artists. The showcase seeks to give an international audience a look into the current Nashville sound and features artists Ingrid Andress, Blanco Brown, Ilse DeLange (from the Netherlands) and Rachel Wammack. “Neon Nashville” is a CMA German Task Force initiative.

In addition to the music festival, attendees can take part in Reeperbahn Festival Conference, which includes panels, presentations, workshops, networking events and other programming for professionals in the music and digital industries. The Reeperbahn Festival Conference will feature a panel titled “It Sounds Like Country,” which will explore the growing popularity of Country Music in the European market and the diversity of the genre. The panel includes industry professionals Milly Olykan (CMA Vice President, International Relations & Development, USA), Sarah Casey (United Talent Agency Agent, U.K.), Fred Casimir (BMG Executive Vice President, Global Repertoire & Marketing, Germany) and Oliver Hoppe (Wizard Promotions Managing Director, Germany).

As international touring opportunities and global streaming continues to grow for Country artists, CMA will continue to use strategic research and tactics to bring Country artists to fans in foreign territories eager to discover and learn more about the Country genre.