Globes Not Golden for NBC

NEW YORK The cancellation of the Golden Globe Awards ceremony on Sunday, Jan. 13 because of the Writers Guild of America’s plan to picket, and the show’s replacement with some type of alternative coverage of the winners, will cost NBC between $10 million and $15 million in ad revenue, sources familiar with the situation told Mediaweek.

The three-hour telecast was scheduled to air 30-second commercial spots that cost between $400,000 and $450,000 each for a dozen or so advertisers, with the program expected to bring in about $25 million in advertising dollars for the network.

For the past week, with the likelihood that the Hollywood Foreign Press Association would cancel the awards ceremony (which it eventually did in conjunction with discussions with NBC on Jan. 7), NBC sales personnel were meeting with various media agency executives to determine how their clients would be compensated.

Some clients have opted for cash refunds from the network; others are waiting to see what type of alternative programming the network will offer before deciding whether to take cash or other types of make goods. NBC was hoping to retain some Golden Globe sponsors in whatever alternative coverage of the award winners that aired. Whatever that programming is, however, it will clearly draw less of an audience than the traditional awards coverage. Thus, the network will still fall short of its rating points guarantees to advertisers.

NBC will not lose the entire $25 million in ad revenue it was planning to take in, since some advertisers will continue to keep their dollars in whatever alternative programming the network chooses to air in place of the Golden Globes. In addition, NBC will not have to pay the nearly $6 million rights fee to the NFPA to air the Golden Globes.

NBC officials would not comment beyond a statement that said, “We’re working with each client on a case-by-case basis to come up with the best possible solution for everyone involved.”