Ratings dip hits SAG awards

Contract may not be picked up for 2006 kudocast

Low ratings on kudoscasts is having a ripple effect.

Viewership for the recent Globes and the Broadcast Film Critics Assn. awards might in fact affect the negotiations for the Screen Actors Guild Awards broadcast rights.

The SAG awards, which air Feb. 5, will be the last under the thesps’ contract with TNT. Recently, the org sent out a press release announcing Jan. 29 as the 2006 awards’ date but pointedly omitted who would be broadcasting them.

This leaves open a number of options.

One is that either Fox or UPN may be in the market to have its own January/February award show.

Another is that CBS might be interested and would move its current early-January kudocast, “The People’s Choice Awards,” to a different season.

CBS topper Les Moonves had been interested in having the SAG awards as the Eye’s “Oscars” back when he first came to the net in 1995. However, a deal could not be hashed out.

SAG offers the networks an awards show with potential growth in terms of star power. (If the actors don’t turn out for SAG, who would they turn out for?)

Plus SAG could try to broadcast earlier than the Globes — the way the BFCA did this year — and both affect, and can be an indication of, the Oscar balloting since actors make up the largest branch of the Motion Picture Academy.