The next battle in the streaming TV wars will unfold on Monday’s Emmys stage, where Netflix Inc aims to end HBO’s 16-year streak as the night’s biggest winner and earn bragging rights for its marketing.
For the first time, Netflix will head to the ceremony with more nominations than any other network, with 112. AT&T-owned HBO, however, will bring its formidable “Game of Thrones,” which scored 22 of the premium cable network’s 108 nods.
The two will compete for the television industry’s highest honours with basic cable network FX, broadcast channel NBC and online services Hulu and Amazon.com Inc’s Amazon Prime Video, just part of the crowd fighting to shine a light on their shows in a large sea of programming.
“It means a lot to all of these players, all of whom are in hyper-competition right now to attract our attention,” said Peter Csathy, founder and chairman of consulting and business development firm Creatv Media.
HBO and Netflix have fought for viewers since 2013 when the streaming service launched “House of Cards,” a political thriller that established it as a home for top-quality TV programming. HBO had long dominated that space with acclaimed series such as “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.”
Netflix has since expanded into a wide range of genres, which helped boost its nominations count with shows such as reality series “Queer Eye.”
HBO has argued that its focus on a smaller, curated slate of programming ensures quality.
Randall Stephenson, chairman and chief executive of HBO owner AT&T Inc, on Wednesday called Netflix the WalMart of video subscription services, while he likened HBO to luxury jeweller Tiffany & Co.
“It’s a very premium, high-end brand for premium content,” Stephenson said at an investor conference.