Big Four Broadcast Networks Bottom Out With All-Time Low Of 16 Total Emmy Wins

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The takeaways from the Emmy Awards are not very golden for the Big Four broadcast networks.

Not only did Fox’s broadcast of Sunday’s Primetime Emmys drop to an all-time ratings low, but broadcasters’ tally of 16 total Emmy wins from the three September ceremonies also set a record. The previous low was 19 combined wins in 2016. Last year, the networks recorded 22 aggregate wins.

NBC mainstay Saturday Night Live was the only broadcast show to reach the winner’s circle on Sunday, capturing statuettes for Outstanding Variety Sketch Series and Outstanding Directing for a Variety Series.

While tradition held in those categories, more cracks in the foundation appeared last weekend at the Creative Arts Emmys. Netflix’s Hannah Gadsby: Nanette and Springsteen on Broadway won for Outstanding Writing and Directing for a Variety Special, respectively, two categories long dominated by broadcast TV.

The headwinds facing broadcast networks have steadily intensified, and it’s startling to think how different the landscape was just a few years ago. ABC, CBS, Fox and NBC are still capable of racking up accolades and audiences for shows like The Good Place and This is Us, but the wider Emmy acclaim for shows like The Good Wife and Modern Family has become elusive.

Viewers tuning in to the Primetime Emmy telecast saw nearly half of the night’s competitive awards (12 of 27) captured by Netflix, Amazon Prime Video and Hulu. Another nine went to HBO. The commercial breaks kept up the barrage, peppering viewers with promos for Disney+, Apple TV+, Facebook Watch, Netflix and Amazon.

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