Reelz Channel paid “no more than $100,000” to license Donald Trump’s Miss USA pageant, a network insider told the Wrap.
The network announced Thursday it had acquired television rights to the pageant, which had been dumped by broadcast partner NBC on Monday. Trump and the broadcaster’s parent company NBCUniversal co-own Miss USA and the Miss Universe pageant.
The Miss USA pageant will take place in Baton Rouge, La. Monday, July 12.
Univision was the first television partner to cut ties with the Miss Universe Organization following comments made by Trump at an event for his presidential campaign, where he disparaged Mexicans as “rapists.” The network’s contract dictated that it would pay $13.5 million over five years to broadcast the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants. Trump is suing Univision for $500 million for dropping the shows.
Reelz’s contract covers only the Miss USA pageant July 12.
Reelz CEO Stan E. Hubbard told TheWrap that the network “does not endorse Trump’s comments regarding Mexicans. Hubbard, whose father, Stanley Hubbard, is a regular donator to Republican political campaigns, added, “I am not a supporter of Donald Trump’s for president.”
Recent days have seen on-camera talent flee the program, with co-host Cheryl Burke, judges Emmit Smith and Jonathan Scott, and performer Flo Rida all departing.
Hubbard also responded to media reports that the pageant’s parent organization is actively pursuing a Latino host to join the broadcast. “I would love to see that, but I don’t know if that’s in the cards or not.