The CMA Fest Broadcast Gets a New Name

The CMA Fest Broadcast Gets a New Name

CMA Fest hosts Thomas Rhett and Kelsea Ballerini / PHOTO: Bob D'Amico / ABC

The ABC special's shortened name helps it connect with audiences who wanted to see the festival live.

By Joseph Beard


The CMA Fest drew large crowds to The Name and I's hometown of Nashville this weekend to see country music stars including Kelsea Ballerini, Rascal Flatts, and Dierks Bentley perform on 11 stages in the Broadway area.

The annual event has been filmed by ABC for thirteen years, who traditionally broadcasts it in August with as a three-hour television special titled CMA Music Festival: Country's Night To Rock. This year, ABC is changing the broadcast's name to the more colloquial CMA Fest, Nashville culture site Sounds Like Nashville reports.

Several years ago, country music fans outside of Nashville might not have known much about CMA Festival, so the helpful subtitle in CMA Music Festival: Country's Night To Rock, would help draw in new audiences. As the CMA Festival has grown larger over recent years and ABC has established a television audience for it, the old name now just seems clunky.

The new name reflects a trend towards short, simple names like the Brooklyn businesses Dough or Brooklyn Flea. Often shorter names stand out better, are easier to remember, and sound more modern.

More importantly, the name helps ABC connect with the country music audience, who were already shortening the festival's name to "CMA Fest." By using the same name for the TV special that fans use for the festival, ABC lets fans know that the two are related. That stronger association with the festival attracts TV audiences from those who couldn't make it to Nashville or want to relive the performances.

CMA Fest will air on Wednesday, August 16, at 8 p.m. ET on ABC. 

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