By The Numbers: CMA Country Christmas on ABC

2012 Country Christmas. Pictured (L-R): Dierks Bentley, Host Jennifer Nettles, Martina McBride and Keith Urban

ABC aired the 3rd Annual CMA Country Christmas broadcast last night (Dec. 20) with Sugarland’s Jennifer Nettles serving as host.

Additional artists who joined the three-time host in celebration of the season included Dierks Bentley, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Lady Antebellum, Scotty McCreery, The Band Perry, Keith Urban, Colbie Caillat, Katherine Jenkins and John Legend.

Nettles opened the show with “Naughty Would Be Nice For Christmas,” while reclining on a white couch before backup dancers join her. The Band Perry performed “Santa Claus Is Coming To Town,” and Lady Antebellum turned in a rendition of “Holly Jolly Christmas,” from their album On This Winter’s Night. Other highlights include Legend’s performance of “This Christmas,” Little Big Town’s rendition of Amy Grant’s “Tennessee Christmas,” McBride’s “O Come All Ye Faithful” and Urban’s “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas.”

This year’s two-hour special garnered 7.28 million live, plus same day views according to initial reporting by TV by the Numbers. The official tally, which takes into account on-demand viewing, will be forthcoming. In 2011, the broadcast drew more than 9 million viewers, an increase of nearly 23 percent over the inaugural broadcast in 2010.

Robert Deaton is executive producer, Paul Miller directs the event and David Wild is the writer.

The program, taped at Nashville’s Bridgestone Arena, will re-air on the network this Saturday (Dec. 22) and Sunday (Dec. 23).

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Eric T. Parker oversees operations and contributes editorial for MusicRow's print magazine, MusicRow.com, the RowFax tip sheet and the MusicRow CountryBreakout chart. He also facilitates annual events for the enterprise, including MusicRow Awards, CountryBreakout Awards and the Rising Women on the Row. [email protected] @EricTParker

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