It’s now officially Emmy Awards voting time, marking the start of TV and film awards season. As the Television Academy gears up for its September 18 TV broadcast on Fox, bigger conversations are taking place in the entertainment community around the who, what and where of future awards shows, especially with major changes in progress of at least one of the main events.
As traditional linear television ratings continue to decline, so too does the draw for annual awards shows. Once a cornerstone of broadcast television along with live sports and local news, awards shows of all kinds have consistently reached unparalleled viewership levels, from the Oscars and Grammys to the Tonys and ESPYS. . However, almost all of them remain inextricably linked to broadcast networks, both for the potential reach and the prestige they bring. But that could change thanks to the news announced this week.
On Monday, it was reported that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association had finally sold all Golden Globes assets, rights and properties. A partnership between Dick Clark Productions and parent company Eldridge Industries purchased the awards show, ending the HFPA’s 79-year control.
This is a change that has been in the works for years. The Golden Globes have been plagued with high-profile issues of their own doing in recent years. Amid controversy over the lack of diversity among HFPA leaders, the longtime Globes broadcast NBC refused to air the ceremony in favor of boycotts and the ceremony went untelevised in 2022. The network said agreed to a one-year contract with Dick Clark Productions (DCP) and the HFPA to broadcast this year’s event on NBC and broadcast it on Peacock, but the Golden Globes did not receive the glowing reception they had hoped for , and the ceremony drew just 6.3 million viewers, an all-time low and a massive fall from grace of 18.3 million viewers three years prior. However, the event saw modest gains on streaming.
With the HFPA officially on its way out, the Golden Globes can answer the question, “What’s next?” DCP, Eldridge and company will plan, host and produce the 81st annual Golden Globe Awards, scheduled for Sunday, January 7, 2024, but no broadcast partner has been named at this time, although NBC is one of the points of sale. still in talks for rights. The Globes is perhaps better positioned to move to streaming than any other major awards show. Due to the ceremony’s reputation for alcohol and sharp tongue, Dick Clark Production could once again turn the ceremony into a must-attend event.
But the Globes aren’t the only ones having to make big decisions about the future of their presentations. From the Oscars to the Tonys, ceremonies in recent years have done their best to keep up with the evolving streaming landscape, trying to find the delicate balance between who will watch the ceremony — and how.
More recently, last Sunday’s Tony Awards saw the return of a hybrid model. Paramount’s free streaming service, Pluto TV, hosted the exclusive streaming pre-show “The Tony Awards: Act One”, which saw the presentation of numerous “creative arts” awards. Then the official Tony Awards telecast aired on CBS and Paramount+, featuring more than a dozen musical numbers and all the top awards. More than 4.3 million people watched the CBS broadcast on Sunday, the best ratings performance since the 2019 pre-pandemic ceremony and a 2% increase from 2022 when the Tonys had their very first broadcast in directly from coast to coast.
Data from Paramount+ also showed Sunday’s show was the most live-streamed event ever for the platform with a 13% increase from 2022. Exact numbers from PlutoTV have not been reported. been leaked for “Act One,” but Paramount has confirmed that it has become the platform’s most-watched live event since its launch in 2013.
While year-over-year audience growth can be deceiving, as more and more people are cutting the cord each year, dramatically increasing the total addressable market each year. But, with virtually unlimited channels and on-demand streaming options, perhaps the growth of awards shows on streaming platforms could be a harbinger of even better results if the ceremonies moved there to full-time.
Comparing the Tonys to the Globes: Although its viewing numbers during the 2023 linear broadcast were low, the ceremony saw 793,000 video starts on Peacock, where it could be both streamed live or watched on demand, in 245% increase over on-demand streaming. only ceremony of 2021. The impact is small at best, but it indicates the potential for more streaming options.
However, every major awards presentation has played musical chairs with linear TV shows, streaming exclusives, and the hybrid model. There isn’t necessarily a “correct” method yet, but the producers are certainly trying to find one. The People Choice Awards announced this week that not only will they enter awards season proper – moving from its usual November/early December window to February 18, 2024 – but for the first time, they will also be broadcast live on Peacock. in addition to his NBC and E! television broadcasts.
Meanwhile, the Screen Actors Guild Awards will move exclusively to Netflix for its ceremony on Saturday, February 24, 2024. And the aforementioned Emmys, which continues their eight-year rotating network deal, will be broadcast exclusively live from coast to coast. another on Fox in September. Since Fox doesn’t have an in-house subscription streaming service, it’s unlikely the ceremony will air this year. However, when it makes its way to the other broadcast networks, those options will almost certainly be more and more in play.
Instead, the producers seem determined to keep the confusion going, not only missing out on major markets, but also misleading viewers with unclear information. For the 2023 Oscars, Disney+ announced live streaming options, but only for five countries internationally (Hungary, India, Indonesia, Norway and the Philippines), while in the US viewers could only watch than ABC’s live broadcast. While 18.7 million people tuned in to the ABC broadcast, up 12% from the previous year, Disney+ also tested live broadcasts of major events with ‘Dancing With the Stars’, ‘Elton John Live: Farewell from Dodger Stadium,” and more. It’s not inconceivable, then, that when the 2024 Oscars rolls around, Disney will decide to make them available to an ever-larger streaming audience in addition to those on traditional television.
The award show broadcast ratings continue to drop, but so do the overall ratings. With more options than ever to stream live events for domestic and international viewers, it looks like a change is coming for these TV shows. Convergence Research shows that there were nearly 70 million US households, or 53%, that did not have a traditional pay-TV subscription, and by the end of 2025 that number is estimated to reach 72. %. In the meantime, awards shows will continue to test all of their available options – some more in-depth than others – with the end result that eventually we will get to see all of the opening numbers, acceptance speeches and the graceful loser forced. streaming faces.