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In November 1977, Dumont acquired the NBC Corporation and also bought Rockefeller Plaza. They renamed it Dumont Center which led to major public outcry for renaming a New York City landmark. In 1978 the first annual lighting of the Dumont Center Christmas tree. This was a musical spectacular that celebrates the beginning of the Christmas season. Many stars and judges from the cavalcade of stars attended this event. The cavalcade of stars was an extremely popular reality competition show where talented singers competed. It ran from 1941 to 1999 making it the longest-running TV show history. This musical spectacular was extremely popular throughout the 1980s and 1990s. However, by the year 2000, this special was fairly unpopular because many people viewed it as an advertisement for a cavalcade of stars. Eventually, this annual lighting ceremony was canceled and replaced with the Dumont holiday spectacular which was held every year in Dumont City Music Hall. They also took over the Manhattan New Year's Eve celebrations in 1999.

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