My two cents.
Of course, the International Emmy is bestowed by the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS), which is based in New York. More specifically, the International Emmy is given out by the International Council of NATAS in association with the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (ATAS), which is based in Los Angeles. This is a complicated arrangement to which I'll be glad to give "my two cents" later on, if space allows.
But back to the winners. I couldn't fathom their reasons for not playing up the honor. After all, the attendant visibility in the media could be a great sales tool for the distributors and could create awareness within the international production industry for their producers, directors, writers, etc.
However, international distributors tend to be rather cool toward the International Emmy. By contrast, the primetime Emmys and the daytime Emmys are a big deal in the U.S. both in the press and on television. (While the daytime Emmy Awards are run by the New York-based NATAS, the primetime awards are run by the Hollywood-based ATAS.)
Recently, I was talking with an acquaintance who is an expert on media awards, and the subject of the International Emmys and the lack of support from the winners came up. Apparently, an explanation was there all along: the majority of the International Emmy winners are British, and they don't like to make a big thing out of the International Emmy so as not to overshadow their own British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) Awards. Interestingly, BAFTA recently opened chapters in both New York and Los Angeles
A look at Video Age's 25th anniversary salute to the International Council in 1997 reveals that, indeed, out of the 124 awards given out from 1963 to 1996, 78 statuettes (63 percent) went to U.K. programs. Canada came in a distant second with 15 awards.
Now, I'm not sure that the above is the real reason, but the fact remains that the International Emmy Awards are forgotten the day after the prestigious statuettes are given to the British in New York.
This is even more surprising in light of the fact that the ceremony is well attended, with delegations coming from places as far away as Japan, Australia and (in large numbers) the U.K. In addition, the membership roster of the International Council forms a who's who of the international television industry, to the point at which the organization won't even accept people like me.
Conversely, the Golden Globe Awards, which are given out by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (reportedly a group of obscure ragtag journalists), receive so much press that they are hailed as the Second Coming of the Oscars.
Of course, the good folks at the International Council cannot force the International Emmy winners to trumpet their awards, but it could itself plaster the walls (so to speak) with the winning programs. This effort could be financed in one of three ways. The first would be to subsidize the ads in the press, to contribute, let's say, 50 percent to the media buy. The second would be to make an arrangement with the trades to offer ad space at reduced rate. The third would be to find a corporate sponsor willing to pay for the ads in exchange for a banner in those ads. I'd also add welcoming receptions - once again underwritten by corporate sponsors - for the winners at trade events such as NATPE, Monte Carlo and the MIPs.
And with this my time (space) is up, so I'll tackle the insanity of having two American TV academies next time, if I'm not "gently" discouraged first.
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|Title Annotation:||lack of respect for the International Emmy Awards by the British|
|Publication:||Video Age International|
|Date:||Jun 1, 1998|
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