Cable Makes Emmy Noms History

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Well, that’s the way it’s being positioned anyway…

The Emmy nominations came out today and the historical part was that, for the first time, two basic cable programs (Mad Men & Damages) were nominated for Outstanding Drama Series, along with Showtime’s Dexter.   (Aaron Barnhart also has a rundown at TV Barn.) HBO got 23 nominations for John Adams.  Fan fave Battlestar Galactica got five.  Check the Emmys site for more.

We say this over and over, but this is part of the cable success story. I recently wrote about how cable became a big player in the summertime, but ratings have been up overall for some time. It was back during the 2001/2002 TV season that cable networks first topped all national broadcast networks collectively in terms of primetime television viewership. It was in 2004 that 11 cable networks collectively garnered 50 awards during the Primetime Emmy Awards, surpassing for the first time broadcast networks, which only earned 37 awards.

This doesn’t just happen by accident. Operators and programmers invest billions in programming – the networks spent $20.32 billion last year in making it and the operators also spent over $23 billion in paying fees to the networks for carriage.

And don’t even get me started about what mandatory a la carte might do to this situation