Emmys Stay Faithful to US Networks – for $52m

15 November 2002

As reported [WAMN: 13-Nov-02], the board of governors of the Academy Television Arts & Sciences met Wednesday to consider whether the 54-year-old Emmy should fall into the clutches of youthful Lothario HBO.

Instead the board agreed that its venerable offspring should sign-up for a further eight years of connubial bliss with the quartet of sugar daddies – ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC – who dangled an irresistible $52 million (€51.57m; £32.75m) dowry before the noses of the academics.

The agreed licence fee equates to $6.5m annually over the eight-year period – a classic case of splitting the difference between the present yearly fee of $3m and the eyewatering $10m demanded by the Academy. The networks also agreed to cover marketing costs plus production expenses of around $5m for the annual TV awards bash.

It is, say media onlookers, doubtful that AOL Time Warner-owned HBO was ever a serious contender for Emmys’ hand – just a convenient bargaining tool. Certainly the cable operator could not have offered the mass audience s ardently sought by the Academy egos even had it decoded its signal (as suggested) to make the event available to all cable and satellite viewers.

The Emmy Awards, albeit an also-ran to the Oscars, reportedly generates between $10-$20m in profit for the network broadcasting the event – which the Big Four air by rota.

Data sourced from: New York Times; additional content by WARC staff