ABC is to the Oscars as the water buffalo is to the bird. Unlike the water buffalo, which provides bugs for fodder, the symbiotic relationship ABC provides is more of a monetary cushion. ABC pays The Academy to show the Oscars every year. In turn, The Academy uses the money ABC shells out to pay the annual operating income budget. It’s been this way since 1976, and even various years before that.

Now, The Wrap is reporting The Academy has extended its exclusive Oscar-televising deal with ABC until 2020. The current contract would not have been up for another three years, but as Academy Executive Director Bruce Davis put it, “This time around we want to get a head start." In lieu of this, negotiations for an extended contract began early this year. The finalized extension of the agreement was announced on February 24.

The ABC-exclusive contract has nothing to do with the Oscar pre-show. Luckily or unluckily for everyone, E! correspondents will still be free to knock on people’s outfit choices to his or her hearts desire.

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