Minnesota-based television network Reelz has acquired the rights for next week's Miss USA pageant and will air the event as scheduled.
Reelz announced that it had obtained the rights to televise the pageant, which had been dumped by it's broadcast partner NBC on Monday, following disparaging comments the show's co-owner, Donald Trump, made towards Mexicans.
Reelz is a channel primarily focused on movies. While CEO Stan Hubbard says he strongly disagrees with Trump's remarks about Mexicans, he doesn't feel the pageant should be the ultimate victim either.
"The decision on the part of Reelz to acquire the rights to the Miss USA Pageant was based on our belief that this special event, and the women who compete in it, are an integral part of American tradition," Hubbard told the New York Post. "As one of only a few independent networks, we decided to exercise our own voice and committed ourselves to bringing this pageant to American viewers everywhere."
It has been reported that Reelz did not pay a lot for the rights to broadcast the show. One industry insider tells TheWrap it cost the channel as little as $100,000. The report notes Reelz's contract only covers the Miss USA pageant on July 12.
According to TMZ, Hubbard adds that it will be difficult to find advertisers given the political climate and the July 4th weekend.
"Trump is not going to profit from what we're paying," Hubbard said in the report. "What we've agreed to pay doesn't even dent the cost of production."
In addition to networks and advertisers, much of the on-camera talent has also left the program, including co-host Cheryl Burke and judges Emmit Smith and Jonathan Scott.
There have been reports the pageant's parent organization is trying to actively pursue a Latino host to join the broadcast. Hubbard has indicated that is something that he'd love to see happen.