With Rights Deal Expiring,Emmy Telecast Ticks Up

The 62nd Annual Primetime Emmys Awards notched a slight Nielsen uptick for NBC, but the presentation could be different next year.

With Jimmy Fallon serving as host, the Aug. 29 telecast
averaged 13.5 million viewers, up from 13.47 million in 2009,
according to Nielsen data, with ratings in the Madison Avenuecoveted
18-to-49 set dipping to a 4.1 from a 4.2.

The Emmycast was the show’s best performance with the
Nielsens since 2006 and easily surpassed the 12.2 million who
tuned in for the 2008 telecast, the event’s low water mark.

The Emmys, moved to accommodate NBC’s Sunday Night Football
telecast, typically air during the third week of September, when HUT
levels are higher but there is more competition for eyeballs.

This year’s show also benefited from airing live in the Pacific
time zone for the first time in some 30 years.

At any rate, the contract that has rotated the Emmycast among
the Big Four networks over the past eight years has expired, and
now there are reports about establishing two telecasts.

One show would focus on series competition, where broadcast
still remains a viable competitor to cable’s mounting ATAS accolades.
The other would focus on long-form fare, where cable in
general — and HBO in particular — has been the dominant player
in the various miniseries and telefilm categories.

Indeed, the premium network, which this year earned a combined
25 statuettes, largely on the strength of The Pacific and Temple
, has won more combined Creative Arts and Primetime
Emmys than any other network each of the last eight years.

For those keeping score at home, the CableACE Awards — the
industry’s counter to the Emmys, because cable was not allowed
to compete before the 1987-88 TV season — ended in 1997.

There has also been a movement by the Paley Center for Media
to form its own awards in May in New York during the TV upfront
buying season, beginning in 2012. The Center for Media Television
Awards planning committee is reported to be determining which
categories would be celebrated and also considering opening up
some voting aspects to the general public.

For its part, E! on Aug. 27 ran a two-hour breakdown of the
Creative Arts Emmys, which had been awarded on Aug. 21.
The show averaged just 90,000 viewers from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.,
according to Nielsen.

Relative to the ramp-up to the Emmys on Aug. 29, E!’s Live from
the Red Carpet: The 2010 Primetime Emmy Awards
averaged a 1.14
cable rating and 1.4 million viewers, flat against the 2009 version
of the show.