‘Where is she…?’ Miss America pageant goes streaming
By Jill Serjeant | Reuters
LOS ANGELES – The annual ‘Miss America’ pageant, once a staple of prime-time television, is transitioning to a streaming event only after years of declining ratings and controversy over its role in the modern world.
Organizers said Monday that “Miss America,” which marks her 100th anniversary this year, will air in full on NBC’s Peacock streaming platform in December.
“We look forward to entering the world of streaming with Peacock this year to help introduce our 51 exceptional people to a younger and wider audience and present their unique personal stories,” Shantel Krebs, former Miss South Dakota and current chief executive officer of Miss America organization, said in a statement.
The contest will run over five days, with the Dec. 16 final taking place in Uncasville, Connecticut.
Organizers said the move was aimed at attracting younger, more affluent viewers who are accustomed to watching media on digital devices rather than traditional television.
The move also follows a drop in viewership to record levels and the elimination of the swimwear round to account for a new wave of women’s empowerment. TV audiences fell to an all-time low of 4.3 million people in 2018, when the swimsuit sleeve was phased out, and fell again to 3.6 million the following year.
The event, which began as a seaside beauty pageant in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1921, awards millions of dollars in college scholarships to its winners.
It experienced its own #MeToo scandal in late 2017 when internal emails were revealed containing sexist comments about the weight and appearance of some of the candidates. Several executives have resigned.