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NBC Revives Tarnished Golden Globe Telecast, Citing Reforms

Streaming services covet Globes to influence voters at more prestigious awards ceremonies. Last year, Netflix campaigned for Emmy votes by citing prior Golden Globe victories, despite separately vowing to boycott future Globes ceremonies until “meaningful” reforms were made.

The Golden Globe Awards broadcast generates tens of millions of dollars for various Hollywood businesses. Stylists, catering companies, party planners, chauffeurs, banquet workers, florists and spray tanners count on the show to generate a significant part of their winter income. The Hollywood Reporter and Variety each generate several million dollars in revenue from Globes advertising.

Advertisers bought roughly $50.3 million worth of airtime during NBC’s most-recent Globes telecast, according to Kantar, a media research firm. Before pulling the plug, NBC was paying the nonprofit H.F.P.A. about $30 million a year for rights to the show. Another $30 million went to an independent company, Dick Clark Productions, which mounted the telecast.

Live awards shows, including the Oscars, have lost tens of millions of viewers over the past decade, but the biggest ceremonies still attract a bigger audience than almost anything else on traditional television, aside from live sports. The most-recent Golden Globes telecast, held without celebrity attendees because of the pandemic, attracted about seven million viewers, according to Nielsen. Prepandemic, the show was attracting about 18 million viewers annually.

The foreign press association had long been viewed as unserious and slippery. In the late 1960s, the Federal Communications Commission got the Globes temporarily booted from the airwaves, saying it “misled the public as to how the winners were determined.” In the 1990s and 2000s, Harvey Weinstein, the since-imprisoned Miramax co-founder, manipulated the organization in ways big and small — expensive gifts, special access to stars, and his own time and attention at a moment when other studio chiefs could barely hide their derision. He was often rewarded with a stunning number of nominations.

Hollywood decided it could no longer turn a blind eye in February 2021, when a wide-ranging article in The Los Angeles Times enumerated financial and ethical lapses at the foreign press association and revealed that the H.F.P.A. had no Black members. Also in February 2021, the association snubbed “Bridgerton,” angering Netflix and Shonda Rhimes, the show’s powerful producer.