NBC's Golden Globes' Digital Blackout: Viewers Wonder If It's TV

Sitting in your living room, turning on your universal TV remote. You wait to watch the Golden Globes on NBC. But alas, you can’t see it. A on-air message says the show is blacked out.

“The Golden Globes are unavailable for streaming. To watch highlights visit

It’s a head scratcher. Then, a moment later, you realize you are watching it via Sling TV. And that means you are “streaming” it. Too bad. NBC doesn’t have the streaming rights to the big TV awards event.

But you think? Wait, I was just watching TV?

And so, here we are -- where business-centric financial terms and new program windows continue to flummoxed less sophisticated/less business-oriented TV viewers. Mind you, it’s not just Sling TV consumers who couldn’t get it, but DirecTV Now, as well any other new digital provider of TV networks that run online.



Now, in previous years, networks did make major awards ceremonies available for streaming to cable and satellite TV subscribers. But with OTT growing -- and perhaps other new digital venues --  many see opportunity to make a bit more money.

Many blame NBC for not allowing viewers to see it, at least according to social-media rants. But it might be more complicated. Owners of the Golden Globes -- the Hollywood Foreign Press Association -- can now make money in a number of ways. For its part, Twitter “live streamed” the Globes red carpet pre-show.

Even then, streaming might seem like normal media behavior. But typically, for most, it happens on other devices -- laptops/desktops at work, looking at short-form video on YouTube.

But it also can apply to traditional TV shows in the evening. On regular-looking TV sets, while sitting in your living room, with no keyboard at your fingertips.

Think 20 years from now. You won’t really have to worry about what is and isn’t TV. Issues over streaming, TV network carriage, digital, cable, satellite, and perhaps, even VOD will be stuff of the past. Kind of like what VCRs were to TV consumers in the early 1980s.

But right now -- to riff off HBO -- you might have your own message to media power brokers: “It’s not TV. It’s not HBO. It’s something that I shouldn’t have to worry about.”

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