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EXCLUSIVE -- Sources: Country Music Awards Staying At ABC

The Country Music Association Awards is expected to stay at ABC under a new deal, according to multiple sources with knowledge of the situation.  One source says the price tag could reach more than $30 million per year in a multi-year deal that would also include the summertime CMA Music Festival and a Christmas special.

As first reported by New York Magazine's Vulture website, a three-way bidding war broke out for the property, which has been with ABC since the network snatched it from CBS in 2005.

Sources tell B&C that both CBS and NBC made serious bids, with execs traveling to pitch the Association board and NBC's Steve Burke and CBS's Leslie Moonves both getting involved.

As Vulture noted in its story, while last year's show fell to its lowest ever ratings, it still hits a Golden Globes-like 16 million or so viewers.