2020 Emmy Nominations Data Analysis

Emmys Data
Cheyne Gateley/VIP

Even a pandemic cannot slow the expansion of Netflix. 

Its total of 160 Emmy nominations this year, a record-breaking number for any TV network or streaming service, points to the streamer’s anticipated industry dominance in the years ahead. 

Tallying up all nominations over the last five years sees HBO edging out Netflix as the most nominated network or service. The pair are in a league of their own when it comes to awards show recognition. NBC, the next highest ranked network or service, has 249 fewer nominations than Netflix. 

Netflix’s 2020 nominations haul played a big role in seeing the total number of Emmy nominations for streaming services rise for the fourth consecutive year. Trending in the opposite direction are total nominations for cable networks, which are at their lowest level across the years in VIP’s analysis.

With the streaming migration in full swing and media companies including ViacomCBS, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal prioritizing originals for their streaming services ahead of cable networks, this trend will continue.

Trending the data by company by year shows WarnerMedia owes HBO for its nominations, with the premium cable outlet accounting for 89% of WarnerMedia’s total. The only other big media company that is reliant upon one brand for the bulk of its Emmy noms is NBCUniversal, with NBC providing 90% of them this year.

The trend in the decline of cable recognition across 2016 to 2020 is best demonstrated by A&E Networks. In 2016, the cable company had 34 nominations across networks, with this shrinking to just 4 in 2020. PBS is the only other media company to see a similar recognition dwindling, down from 2016’s 26 to 5 this year.