November 29, 2006
Upcoming Emmy Business Reporting Awards Made Available Online for First Time

Here's further proof of ways in which the Internet is becoming a repository for airing and storing events of interest that just do not have a broad enough base to even air on the wide variety of cable networks.

On Dec. 7, the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences' Emmy Awards for Business and Financial Reporting will host their fourth annual awards ceremony. While the major entertainment-based awards are of enough public interest that they can fare well on broadcast television, the niche audience interested in watching an awards show for business and financial reporting is small enough that "airing" the event has never been available before. This year, however, the ceremony will be made available online at both TV Worldwide and TV Mainstream.

The announcement decision to webcast the event was made Tuesday and will include interviews with a variety of the people in attendance in addition to the seven awards that will be presented at the ceremony, according to Michele Greppi with TelevisionWeek.

The ceremony, which takes place in the Rainbow Room in New York, will be dominated by CBS, which took 15 or the 33 nominations and which, in the category of outstanding interpretation of a business news story in a regularly scheduled newscast, it will only be competing with itself, as CBS News Sunday Morning was nominated for every award in the category, according to UPI International.

That means that, this year, we viewers can see things like Lou Dobbs being presented with a lifetime achievement award!

The Internet has also served increasingly as a conduit for transmedia coverage of awards shows, such as with this year's Emmy Awards back in August, in which the Web site provided a variety of backstage content throughout the show. At the time, I wrote, "
Nevertheless, the 58th version of the Emmy Awards may have been proof that a transmedia approach to an awards program may help alleviate any future concerns about going overtime, especially if they could go the WWE Unlimited route and have some of the minor transitory events happen during commercial breaks, to be streamed online. Tandberg Television's interactive content this time around displayed a glimpse of the transmedia promise for these types of special events that are somewhat rooted in temporality."

Another great model for using broadband distribution for content that may not have wide enough appeal to put on a cable or broadcast network would be ACC Select, the Turner initiative that airs college sports from the Atlantic Coast Conference for the types of games that do not often get covered more broadly. I wrote in October that, "As the idea of "broadcasting" is further eroded by the popularity of supplying niche programming, situations like this become more and more likely. While most schools with successful sports enterprises might only get basketball or football or perhaps baseball picked up by local affiliates or national cable sports channels, these online spaces become popular distribution mechanisms for other sports. Does this, in itself, make these other sports more popular? No, but it makes being a fan or the parent or friend of a player a lot more convenient by providing fans a regular place to view their favorite sports and their favorite schools."