Oscar’s Positioned For A January Broadcast?

Nikki Finke at Deadline has reported that The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences will move the ceremony for The Oscars to January 2011. Usually this ceremony takes place in March every year to celebrate filmmakers and actors from the previous year. There were discussions of moving the ceremony at Tuesday’s Board of Governor’s meeting in Los Angeles.

This proposes a ratings battle between ABC (who televises The Oscars) and other award shows and huge annual TV events. If the ceremony moves to January then it will have to compete with the SAG Awards in January, BAFTA Awards in February and The Super Bowl in early February. I’d say plan your joint Super Bowl/ Oscar parties now. And even so, could moving the Oscar telecast gain more ratings for ABC and The Academy? All signs point to “no”.

There are only two huge TV events a year, The Oscars and The Super Bowl. And the last time I checked, The Super Bowl defeats The Oscars every year in the ratings. If this move is to gain more ratings, I don’t think it will be a good idea to go head to head with The Super Bowl. If you asked me, what would I rather watch. I’d have to get back to you on that one. It really does depend who is in The Super Bowl and which movies are nominated for Oscars. If the Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers are in The Super Bowl then forget it, Travis and I will be watching that. If this year, I am really wowed by something at the cinema I’ll let you know when that happens. So far this year, most of the movies I’ve seen have been dull. Not to say I haven’t seen anything good. Have you read my review for “Animal Kingdom”?

Smartly, they wouldn’t have to compete with each other but if The Super Bowl is one week then The Oscars are the next week, could people but too “partied out”. We could see some backlash come this January.

I guess having the ceremony in January as soon at the close of the year, will keep the movies fresh for audiences and critics. The only problem I see is, a lot of the movies nominated for “Best Picture” are usually smaller film that have a very limited theatrical run. For example, last year’s winner, The Hurt Locker, was released in June 2009 in a very limited release and didn’t get much traction until it came out on DVD in February the following year. Moving the ceremony in January could garner more apathy to The Oscars. Who will watch the awards if they haven’t seen the movies nominated. Wasn’t that the point of adding 10 nominations last year?

This move seems counter-productive although I am all for spicing things up with antiquated models.

What do you think? Will The Oscars get in the way of your Super Bowl party?

3 Comments

  • As much as I like movies, I think the Super Bowl would wipe up the floor with Oscar if the Academy tried going head to head with the big game. Maybe having the ceremony on the off-week between conference championships and the Super Bowl would work, but this doesn't seem like a smart move to me.

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