HBO had the annual “Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony” for 28 consecutive years right up until Disney swooped in to scoop up the rights this year.
Disney’s “swoop and scoop” was announced just last month. The story came as a big surprise, since the show had been associated closely with HBO since 1995.
It was a news story that did not leak or break anywhere before the press release went out on September 28.
The coup represents another victory for streaming. This year’s telecast will represent the first time that it will premiere as a live-streaming attraction, and not on pay cable.
Plans call for this year’s show to premiere on Disney+, where it will stream live in its entirety starting at 8 p.m. Eastern on Friday, November 3. After the live show, it will continue to stream on Disney+.
ABC will then have an abridged version, but that will not air on the network until two months later -- Monday, January 1, 2024, New Year’s Day.
ABC’s show will consist of curated “performance highlights and standout moments” from the live show, said the September 28 press release, which was issued by ABC, not Disney+.
The ABC version of the “2023 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony” is being tailored to fit within the parameters of network prime time. It will run for three hours starting at 8 p.m. Eastern.
Presumably, the Disney+ live version of the show from the Barclays Center in Brooklyn will run for as long as the show lasts.
This year’s inductees are: Kate Bush, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, George Michael (posthumously), Willie Nelson (now 90 years old), Rage Against the Machine and The Spinners.
Inductees in special categories are hip-hop pioneer DJ Kool Herc and seminal rock guitarist Link Wray (posthumously) for Musical Influence; Chaka Khan, Al Kooper and Bernie Taupin for Musical Excellence; and “Soul Train” impresario Don Cornelius, posthumous recipient of this year’s Ahmet Ertugan Award.
Presenters and performers will include Stevie Nicks, Carrie Underwood, LL Cool J and Elton John.
The first class of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honorees were inducted in 1986. The famed museum in Cleveland opened in September 1995, the same year that the annual telecast aired for the first time on HBO.
HBO’s association with the annual induction show was so long that the only other such relationship similar to it is the much longer association of ABC with the Academy Awards -- 48 years and counting.
The odds do not favor any other company wresting the Oscars away from Disney anytime soon, but in today’s TV business, you never know.