Donald Trump’s Miss USA, Miss Universe Pageants Need ‘Ownership Change,’ Says Reelz Chief

TCA 2015: cable-network CEO Stan E. Hubbard says pageants “belong on a broadcast” channel

Olivia Jordan 2015 Miss USA Pageant (Josh Brasted/Getty Images for Miss USA)
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Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard, whose network scooped up the Miss USA pageant’s 2015 broadcast rights after they were dumped by NBC, predicted Sunday that the pageant’s parent organization, Miss Universe, may have to soon change hands. Presidential candidate Donald Trump and NBCUniversal currently co-own the Miss Universe organization.

“I do believe that there will probably have to be an ownership change in that organization,” Hubbard said to reporters Sunday at the Television Critics Association summer press tour. “Now, for my two cents, I don’t see Trump going away easily for NBC. I don’t know how it’s going to play out.”

Broadcast network NBC dropped the Miss USA pageant from its air after Trump made derogatory remarks about Mexican immigrants at a campaign event. Reelz acquired the broadcast rights in a one-off deal that cost the network “no more than $100,000,” as TheWrap reported exclusively in July.

Hubbard reiterated Sunday that the broadcast was a one-time affair for Reelz.

“We have no relationship going forward,” he said. “I think when you have a big event like Miss USA, Miss Universe, I think they belong on a broadcast network.”

Hubbard told TheWrap in July that Reelz lost money on the pageant. He claimed Sunday that ratings at the network have trended up since the broadcast, which drew 2.5 million total viewers.