NASHVILLE – Thousands
of fans made “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night to Rock,” one of the week’s
highest rated programs with their avid social media use.

The special, which
Monday, Aug. 12 on ABC, garnered 8.3 million viewers. It was the fifth
most-watched program during the week in viewers, and was 12th most-watched in
the Adults 18–49 demographic.

Social media was a driving force during
the three-hour concert special, with fans using platforms such as Twitter, Instagram,
Facebook, and SMS messaging to interact in advance of and during the broadcast.
Social initiatives included a tweet-along, text-to-win promotions, and the first-ever
broadcast network, primetime Instagram integration.

“Social media
is an integral part of the viewing experience now,” said 
Robert Deaton, the special’s
Executive Producer. “We are always looking for new, innovative ways for our
audience to interact with the show. This Instagram integration, being the first
of its kind, added a new level of fan involvement, which is very fitting as the
spirit of the Festival is about fans getting closer to their favorite artists.”        

Fans submitted
more than 67,000 #CMAfest Instagram photos, either from their experiences at the
event in June or while watching the special at home with family and friends. CMA
partnered with Mass Relevance and ABC network engineers to select photos, which
were aired live on-air, in real time, breaking new ground in social interaction.

participation grew 67 percent over 2012, with CMA’s Twitter nation topping 273,155,
growing CMA’s digital audience to nearly 2 million followers.

who appeared in the special also got in on the action, Tweeting and sharing photos along with fans.

CMA Vocal Group of the year and hosts of “CMA Music Festival: Country’s Night
to Rock”
Little Big Town shared a photo on Instagram of their
at-home viewing party with Deaton and their manager
Jason Owen. The group also
answered fan questions throughout the special through their official Twitter feed.

of Lady Antebellum tweeted, “So crazy to
be watching myself 8 months pregnant on #cmafest…and be watching my peaceful
sleeping daughter at the same time! #blessed,” while
Brian Kelley of Florida Georgia
took a moment to complement fellow Festival performer Dierks Bentley, tweeting “@DierksBentley
rockin’ that steel panther t[ee] on the CMA special. Ha. Love it!”

The 2014
CMA Music Festival will take place
June 5-8 in Nashville and will
again be filmed for a concert special on ABC. Tickets are available now at
For more information, please visit

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