The Television Academy said today it has reached a deal with reps from ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC to extend the contract to televise the Primetime Emmy Awards another eight years through 2026. The pact comes ahead of this year’s 70th annual awards show September 17 on NBC, and terms of the new deal will go into effect with the 2019 show which will air on Fox.
The “wheel rotation” structure will stay intact, with ABC, CBS and NBC to follow after Fox.
The deal comes after negotiations on the previous contract six years ago ragged on for more than eight months, only closing 4½ months before the 2011 telecast. The TV Academy started talks a year out this time, retainingheavyweight lawyer and L.A. Film Czar Ken Ziffren to rep them.
Specific terms were not disclosed in today’s announcement, but a document drafted early in the process acknowledged the broadcasters’ desire to see the number of categories given out in the live TV show trimmed. The issue is very political, with previous attempts to take writing and directing categories out of the main telecast failing after the WGA and DGA threatened to charge the TV Academy steep fees for the right to use show clips at the Emmys that they otherwise grant for free.
The TV Academy also likely sought a fee increase in the new deal; the broadcast nets pay $8.25 million a year for the Emmy telecast under the current deal, up slightly from the $7.5 million they shelled out in the second half of the previous eight-year contract.
“We thank Ken Ziffren and all those involved from both the Television Academy and the broadcast networks in reaching this new agreement,” said TV Academy chairman and CEO Hayma Washington today in announcing the news. “We are excited to continue our collaboration with the four networks in celebrating excellence in television each year, honoring the great programs, performances and content that captivate millions of fans.”
This year’s Emmy Awards telecast, on a Monday, will be fronted by SNL “Weekend Update” co-hosts Colin Jost and Michael Che.