Netflix and HBO have battled each other for primacy in Emmy nominations for the last five years, with the two trading the title as the most nominated network, studio or streaming service since 2017. But Netflix has never ended the night of the primetime Emmy Awards with the most wins. The closest it came was in 2018, when it tied HBO in the total number of statues won.
That’s set to change Sunday.
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The two entered the Emmy season with HBO leading Netflix in nominations, but barely. This year, HBO combined the nomination count for its traditional network with that of streaming service HBO Max. That generated 130 nods to HBO, just one more than Netflix.
But before the primetime Emmys ceremony even started Sunday, Netflix was on track to end the night with the most wins, thanks to a haul of statues last weekend from the Creative Arts Emmys on top of its nominations still outstanding. The earlier ceremonies, which award artistic and technical achievement in television, generated Netflix 34 awards going into Sunday night. HBO secured just 10. (Even Disney Plus, which won its first Emmy awards only last year, arrived Sunday with more Creative Arts Emmys to its name than HBO, with 13.)
Reigning as the most Emmy-awarded network or service doesn’t unlock any particular prize other than bragging rights. But with competition continuing to intensify between media companies, dominating the Emmy awards can be important for marketing one service as the go-to place for the most decorated programming over another. Services like Netflix and WarnerMedia’s HBO Max — not to mention Hulu, Amazon Prime and Apple TV Plus too — are all vying for your subscriptions, of course. But commanding the most Emmy wins is alluring to top Hollywood talent too.
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