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Wednesday, March 22, 2023

Awards shows are losing audiences. Will the move to streaming be the ultimate reward?

Awards shows are losing audiences. Will the move to streaming be the ultimate reward?

Awards shows have struggled for years, as declining ratings coincided with dramatic industry growth. But these ceremonies — which have traditionally called broadcast TV their home — could eventually lead to a shift of large audiences to streaming.

The Screen Actors Guild Awards (SAG), which honors performances in film and television, announced Wednesday that Netflix will stream its annual awards show live. The 2023 event will air on Netflix’s YouTube page, with plans to move to the streaming platform itself in 2024 for a “multi-year partnership.”

It was the first major awards show to make the full leap from broadcast television to streaming. But others, like the Tonys and Golden Globes, are still just dipping their toes in the water.

“Forget ratings,” said Canadian media and television columnist Bill Brioux. “There doesn’t seem to be a commercial reason to show it anymore,” as most of the awards are now dominated by the TV and movies we watch on streaming platforms.for each Abbott Elementary SchoolThere are five similar programs Severance pay, squid game or andorra.

But 2022 marks a turning point for the streaming service’s dominance, as subscription growth gradually slows and some longtime subscribers ditch their accounts. As the awards show struggles to stay relevant, is this just one sinking ship to jump on another?

future awards ceremony

Clayton Davis, Variety’s senior awards editor, believes the SAG Awards’ move to streaming will be successful. He also predicts that other major awards shows will soon follow suit, many of which are already airing on broadcast networks affiliated with one of the streaming giants.

“I’m really happy. I think it’s a move to start now the new world order that we’re going to have in awards shows,” he said.

“This year marks 25 years since the most-watched telecast in Oscar history, with 50 million viewers. That year Titanic, and everyone has been chasing it ever since. And we’re never going back to direct broadcast networks,” Davis added.

WATCH | Low ratings raise questions about awards show relevance:

Could a More Diverse Nominee Help Save the Awards Show?

This year’s Oscar nominations are more diverse than ever, including nine actors of color and two women for best director. But low ratings at the Golden Globes and Grammys have raised questions about the show’s relevance.

Netflix is ​​an exception, with nearly every streaming giant — from Disney Plus to Prime Video — having a parent company with a broadcast network, each of which is home to major awards telecasts.

The Tony Awards air on CBS, but last year’s awards segment aired on its CBSViacom streaming service, Paramount Plus. Tuesday night’s Golden Globes airs on NBC — but the show is also live on Peacock, the streaming service owned by NBCUniversal.

US measurement firm Nielsen paints a grim picture of Golden Globes ratings: Only 6.3 million people watched the Globes on NBC, partly because of the awkward slot on Tuesday night.Some entertainment Outlets Report The show’s availability on Peacock may have given it an extra boost, but its impact is hard to judge based on the streamer’s yet-to-be-released viewership numbers.

Pictured is a golden globe statue behind a TV screen showing the Golden Globes.
A statue of the Golden Globes is unveiled during the nominations for the 79th annual Golden Globes at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on Dec. 13, 2021 in Beverly Hills, California. (Chris Pizzello/AP)

Awards shows, which had already begun to dent viewership well into 2020, were hit hard when the pandemic forced events to be held online or caused celebrations to be postponed entirely.

The SAG Awards are not the first to jump from broadcast TV to exclusive streaming. The Academy of Country Music (ACM) Awards, which moved from CBS to Amazon Prime last year, will also be hosted on Amazon Prime this year.

“That’s why I think it’s going to work.”

super bowl analogy

Streaming could bring more eyeballs to an awards show — but the event’s long-term success has to do with the entertainment factor. For Davis, it doesn’t matter what is nominated, who hosts or how long the show is.

“I think people are going to watch an interesting show, a great show. It doesn’t matter what is nominated. If they feel like it’s an event they have to watch,” Davis said.

“I’ve always compared it to the Super Bowl, right? Not everyone watches football during the regular season, but they tune in because there’s something for everyone. It’s the game, and there’s commercials. There’s [the] The halftime show, or whatever it has to do with it, makes it exciting. “

Brioux noted that live sports — “the ultimate big prize broadcast” — is also moving to streaming.

“The Super Bowl is still the biggest show on TV every year. But even there, we’re seeing NFL games migrate to Apple and Amazon Prime.”

A woman and a man hug and smile.
Director Jane Campion and Netflix Chief Content Officer Ted Sarandos attend the 94th Annual Academy Awards at Hollywood & Highland on March 27, 2022 in Hollywood, California. (David Livingston/Getty Images)

In the case of Netflix, it chose not to broadcast live sports. But it has shown greater interest in live-streaming opportunities.Post-trade site deadline After reporting in March that the streaming service was exploring live events, Netflix announced in November that it would stream Chris Rock’s upcoming comedy special live in early 2023.

Just last month, Ted Sarandos, Netflix’s chief content officer, said the company would offer live streaming “for things that would benefit creatively from live streaming,” type reports.

“Netflix had a crazy year, and they lost a lot of money in terms of the stock market and the value of the stock,” Brioux said. “It’s still in 200 million households around the world … the subscriptions are still huge.”

“I think the only argument against streaming the Oscars is — I don’t think it matters anymore — but if too many people are streaming at the same time, the system might not be able to handle it.”

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