HBO leads Emmys with 34 new honours to tout in streaming wars

The cast of ‘Game of Thrones’ accepts the award for Outstanding Drama Series at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 22, 2019. — Reuters pic
The cast of ‘Game of Thrones’ accepts the award for Outstanding Drama Series at the 71st Primetime Emmy Awards in Los Angeles, California September 22, 2019. — Reuters pic

LOS ANGELES, Sept 23 — Long-time Emmy darling HBO scored more wins than any other network at today’s Emmy awards, taking home 34 trophies including best drama series for the final season of its global hit Game of Thrones.

The accolades give HBO new bragging rights in the increasingly competitive battle for viewers of streaming video.

HBO is available on pay TV and online. Parent company AT&T Inc plans to unveil an expanded streaming service called HBO Max next spring to compete with Netflix Inc, Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video, new offerings from Walt Disney Co and Apple Inc, and others.

Game of Thrones scored 12 awards overall, while HBO’s limited series Chernobyl won 10.

Amazon landed the Emmy for best comedy series and five other awards for its quirky British comedy Fleabag, one of the company’s 15 wins. The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, an Amazon comedy about a 1950s housewife-turned-comedian, received eight Emmys.

Netflix, the company that pioneered streaming video, finished in second place overall with 27 awards. They included best television movie for interactive film Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, which let viewers choose plot turns throughout.

Executive producer Charlie Brooker, while accepting the award on stage, thanked Netflix’s creative and technical team “who pulled off a magic trick”.

HBO had dominated the Emmys for years with hits such as The Sopranos and Sex and the City. It ran up a 16-year streak as the most-honoured network until 2018, when Netflix and HBO tied with 23 awards each.

HBO’s Emmy dominance this year is welcome news for AT&T, a telecommunications and media conglomerate that is under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management Corp to improve its business. AT&T in 2018 bought Time Warner, owner of HBO, CNN and Warner Bros.

Among traditional networks, the National Geographic cable channel secured eight wins, most of them for documentary Free Solo, and Comcast Corp’s NBC won seven. — Reuters

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