Fox Broadcasting Company picks up rights to “Miss Universe” pageant

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MILWAUKEE — The Fox Broadcasting Company has picked up rights to the “Miss Universe” pageant, four months after it was dropped by NBCUniversal in the wake of Donald Trump’s controversial remarks about Mexican immigrants.

Fox will broadcast the 64th Annual Miss Universe Pageant on Sunday, December 20, in partnership with WME/IMG, which acquired the Miss Universe Organization from Trump in September. In a statement, Fox Entertainment President David Madden called the “Miss Universe” and “Miss USA” pageants “iconic television events.”

“We are very excited to partner with IMG and The Miss Universe Organization to infuse a fresh new energy into these perennial broadcast favorites,” he said.

Trump sold the organization to WME/IMG last month following NBCUniversal’s decision to cut ties with Trump because of “derogatory statements” he had made about Mexican immigrants at his campaign launch. Trump had said he would build a wall to stop Mexico from dumping “rapists” and criminals on U.S. soil.

In addition to relinquishing co-ownership of the Miss USA and Miss Universe Pageants, which were a joint venture with Trump, NBC confirmed that Trump would no longer participate in “‘The Apprentice,” the show he hosted for 14 years.

The “Miss USA” pageant aired two weeks later after that announcement on the little watched cable channel Reelz, resulting in a loss of roughly 4 million viewers when compared to the previous year’s broadcast.