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Golden Globes: NBC Never Had Live-Streaming Rights, Backlash Blamed on Mistaken Assumption It Did

Variety logo Variety 1/9/2017 Todd Spangler
© Provided by Variety

Internet users hoping to watch the Golden Globes live online Sunday night were disappointed after they discovered that NBC was not live-streaming the kudocast online.

In fact, NBC had never said it would offer a live-stream of the Globes — because the broadcast network does not have the online-streaming rights from the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. for the telecast of the awards show. Sources say NBC has been actively working on obtaining such rights, but was unable to secure them for this year’s run.

NBC reps declined to comment. Representatives for HFPA and Dick Clark Prods., which handled production of the 74th Annual Golden Globe Awards, didn’t respond to requests for comment.

The backlash from Golden Globes fans hoping to watch online, who took to Twitter and other social media to complain, came after inaccurate reports — including one by Variety — that NBC would offer a live stream on NBC.com to subscribers of participating cable, satellite and telco TV operators.

The confusion was fueled by NBC’s promotion of a section of its website promising to let viewers follow “The Golden Globe Awards – LIVE!” But that was only a landing page where NBC aggregated tweets about the Golden Globes. One source suggested NBC’s marketing campaign leading up to the Golden Globes did not indicate clearly enough that the live feed would not be available online.

Other big TV events have been available via live-streaming, although they have often carried restrictions. For example, ABC has made the Academy Awards telecast available to authenticated viewers in certain local TV markets through agreements with pay-TV partners.

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