The pageant has not aired from Atlantic City, NJ in six years. Organizers had hoped that hosting the pageant in Las Vegas would bump up ratings. The most recent pageant drew 6.7 million viewers which is a far cry from a ratings high of 50 million viewers in the late 80s.
The Miss America pageant has suffered stiff competition in recent years, particularly from Donald Trump’s Miss USA franchise. Often the two pageant systems are confused for each other.
Local viewer Brad G. says, “The pageants are a little confusing, but my wife likes to watch them and she enjoys seeing what the girls wear. I think it’s great they’re going back to the east coast. Las Vegas has enough going on.”
The deal with ABC extends the pageant’s agreement with the network for three years.