HBO loses out in Emmy telecast rights row

LOS ANGELES: In the end, it was the clout wielded by ABC, NBC, FOX and CBS that prevailed over HBO's bid to grab the rights to telecast the Emmy Awards.

The National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) has decided to stick to the four networks, even if the take home would have been more had it gone with HBO's offer.

A Reuters report says that the big four will together pay $52 million over eight years for the right to take turns airing the show under a licensing "wheel." This is considerably lesser than HBO's rejected bid which was $50 million over five years.

Under the new deal, the academy will reportedly be paid $5.5 million annually for the first four years, followed by $7.5 million for the remaining four years.

The advantage for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences however, is that the threat of networks retaliating through a boycott or organising their own awards has now been thwarted.

The report further states that the big four networks had the advantage of reaching all 106.6 million American homes with TV sets. At best, HBO could reach nearly 85 per cent of TV households if it unscrambled its signal so it could be picked up on cable.

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