The Friday before the Golden Globes awards show Los Angeles is usually hopping: limos ferrying celebs to gifting suites and restaurants packed with eager stars and their reassuring agents and publicists.
But this year, it's pretty dead and you'll have no problem getting a dinner reservation Saturday night. The big Globes gala champagne dinner is cancelled--and along with it goes the red carpet strutting and the crunch of glitzy "after" parties.
It's all because of the writers' strike-- the Writers Guild said it would picket the event and the Screen Actors Guild (including every single celebrity attendee) won't cross picket lines. So while the gala dinner isn't happening, NBC is still broadcasting the awards in the format of an hour-long press conference. NBC won't have to pay a licensing fee to the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which usually runs them around $6 million.
But because the awards show in its full format brings in about $27 million dollars (it did last year) NBC will be losing some serious ad revenue this time around. Because this Sunday's "show" (actually a press conference) won't bring in the same kind of ratings as last year's show, it's been reported that NBC could have to give back some $10 to $15 million dollars to advertisers. And giving cash back is never a good thing.
And there's more economic impact. Fashion designers and jewelry houses will lose millions of dollars of exposure--having celebrities strut in their wares is worth more than simple advertising. And the LA economy usually gets about $80 million dollars worth of activity from hotels, restaurants, and limo services.
Gifting suites use the show as an opportunity to get their products in the hands of celebrities, valuable publicity. There are still a few gifting houses happening, but there won't be as many actors around, so they won't have the same impact.
This story raises an even bigger question--what does it mean for the Oscars? The Academy Awards telecast usually brings in about $80 million dollars in ad revenue to ABC which broadcasts the show. And it isn't like ABC can just put those ads on different shows-- many of these ads are designed just for the awards show. And the Oscars (and the red carpet pre-show) are a perfect time to reach an affluent female consumer...gold for advertisers.
Will the Oscars be cancelled? I'm hoping that the Directors Guild strikes a deal, allowing the writers and producers to come together, without losing face, and make a settlement. Fingers crossed it'll happen in time for the Feb 24 show.
I think everyone who's up for an Oscar would put pressure on his or her guild to have a chance to win! We'll see. Now I'll be watching to see exactly what NBC does on Sunday, and what kind of ratings the net gets.
FYI: NBC is part of NBC Universal which is the parent company of CNBC. NBC Universal is owned by GE.
By the way, NBC's coverage of the hour long Globen Globe press conference to hand out the awards begins at 9 pm EST.
UPDATE: Here's the word from the DGA web site: The Directors Guild of America and the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers agreed today to enter into formal contract negotiations. Negotiations are scheduled to begin tomorrow, Saturday, January 12, 2008, and will be held at AMPTP headquarters in Encino, California.
The DGA and the AMPTP have agreed that neither organization will comment to the press regarding negotiations until negotiations have concluded.
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