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As Hollywood braces for the coming streaming wars, HBO’s huge Emmy nomination haul this week sent a new salvo Netflix’s way: The streamer may have the volume, but HBO still has the goods. At least this year.
HBO’s record-breaking 137 nominations came on the strength of just 23 programs — led, of course, by “Game of Thrones,” with its history-setting 32 nods.
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But “Game of Thrones” and “Veep” are now over, so this could very well represent the pinnacle of HBO’s Emmy might, nearly three decades after the pay cabler first became an awards machine. It comes at a transformative time in the industry, as more streamers prepare to come online and further tip the small screen’s balance of power.
It’s not news that the broadcast networks — which dominated the Emmy proceedings until the 21st century — have seen their fortunes decline steadily, even as they continue to telecast the annual ceremony. But this year, the dip was also noticeable among the ranks of several major cable networks as well.
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Next year, looking to further flip the balance of power, newcomers to the Emmy race will include Apple, which has zoomed in on high-end fare and is building an awards strategy team; Disney Plus, which won’t be as kudos-focused but will still boast freshman contenders; HBO Max, offering originals beyond HBO’s output; and perhaps Comcast’s still-unnamed streamer.
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Add in an increasingly aggressive Amazon Prime Video, which doubled its nomination haul this year, and a fully Disney-backed Hulu, and next year’s Emmy race could shake out completely differently.
A shift has already begun, with broadcast...
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