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September 4, 2015

NBC Wants to Dump Emmy West Coast Tape Delay

by Joel Keller, posted Feb 5th 2010 1:02PM
NBC logoWhen I was working the TCA beat on the west coast last month, I had a bit of cognitive dissonance when NBC aired the Golden Globes live at 5 PM. I watched it with a bunch of critics in a conference room we reserved for the purpose, then watched the rest in my room. After Ricky Gervais bid everyone goodnight, I started stretching and thinking it was time for bed, like I do at the end of every grueling award-show watching experience I ever had.

Then I turned and saw the clock: It was 8 PM. I could have gone for dinner and come back and still had time to work before calling it a night. It was disconcerting and refreshing all at once.

NBC is hoping people have that same experience with the Emmys on August 29, as they're toying with the idea of dumping the west coast tape delay and broadcasting the ceremony live across the country, according to Broadcasting & Cable.

NBC cites the immediacy of Twitter and blogs sending the news, observations, and results out in real time as a reason why they're thinking of doing away with the tape delay. It's not a far-fetched notion; we're likely going to live-blog the event like we did last year, and we will be one out of hundreds of TV sites to do that. Combine that with Twitter, and there's no reason why the west coast needs to be left out just because the sun is still shining.

The Peacock thinks this year's increase in Globes ratings was due to it being live across the country, but the B&C article points out that the Grammys did very well last week, even though it was tape delayed to the Mountain and Pacific time zones. And, this isn't a new concept, as the Oscars have been live across the country for many years.

West coast TV fans are likely to applaud the move; who wouldn't? You get to see the show and then go to In-N-Out afterward. It's a win-win for everyone.

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I don't watch the Emmys but it is so rare when they show live events here in California - I was amazed that Universal Sports (NBC's sports channel) showed the US Figure Skating Championships live.

On the plus side, I can find out who wins what beforehand and choose whether to watch or not... (I know, most people like not knowing until they watch).

February 05 2010 at 9:46 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Wow what an amazing concept.

February 05 2010 at 6:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Live on the West Coast-what a concept! For the past few years, I would find out who had won Emmys, Globes, and Grammys before the "taped" broadcast from East Coasters posting on the Goldderby forums. And I'm sure I wasn't alone. Since these awards shows air on weekends, there isn't that a big of a problem with a 5:00 start.

February 05 2010 at 5:43 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I hate hate hate hate live events that are on tape delay for us west coasters. I refused to watch the Grammys because they were tape delayed (I knew all the results by the time the show started in California). I did watch the Emmys because they weren't tape delayed, and I watch the Oscars for the same reason. And I only watch the Olympics stuff on the cable channels because it's live (as opposed to all NBC network stuff). So if they are going in the "live for west coast" direction, they should go add the Olympics!

February 05 2010 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

It's about time. The tape delay sucks I think they should broadcast the show live starting at 8 pm on the WEST coast and the hell with the east coast they can stay up late.

February 05 2010 at 3:17 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

And yet, they are going to tape-delay the Olympics - which are even more subject to "spoiling" by blogs and the like.

February 05 2010 at 3:06 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to Andrew's comment

Yeah, I haven't really watched the Olympics on NBC much. 1) I've heard bad things and 2) I'm Canadian and I doubt they cover our athletes too much.

We've been spoiled here in Canada with the CBC and it seems as if CTV will be doing the same this time with their 22 hours a day of Olympic coverage (and that's not taking into account the 3 other English cable channels, 3 other French channels and 4 other multi-lingual channels offering coverage... and the website that will show every single event live.)

So... how bad is it exactly, NBC's coverage of the Olympics?

February 05 2010 at 7:30 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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