Under the deal, the Oscars will be televised on ABC through 2020. The contract was not due to expire for another three years. ABC has broadcast the Oscar show every year since 1976. This is shaping up to be a strong year, revenue-wise - ABC sold all its ad time weeks ago at rates of between $1.7 million and $1.8 million (per 30-second spot). From the WSJ:
Down the road, organizers are contemplating moving the show to as early as January. Tom Sherak, president of the Academy, says the barriers to an earlier Oscars are logistical. Organizers would need to find a secure way for nearly 6,000 members to vote online as opposed to a mail ballot. Even then, the show couldn't happen before late January, he says. "Picking a date is the easy part," he says. "It's making sure people see the movies; that's the hard part." But, he says, "If all the stars line up, we might do it."