HBO leads Emmys with 34 new honors to tout in streaming wars

Fans watch HBO’s ‘Game of Thrones’ series finale at a viewing party at Brennan's bar in Marina del Rey, California in this May 19, 2019 file photo. (AFP)
Updated 23 September 2019

HBO leads Emmys with 34 new honors to tout in streaming wars

  • HBO took home the best drama series for the final season of its global hit ‘Game of Thrones’
  • The accolades give HBO new bragging rights in the increasingly competitive battle for viewers of streaming video

LOS ANGELES: Longtime Emmy darling HBO scored more wins than any other network at Sunday’s Emmy awards, taking home 34 trophies including best drama series for the final season of its global hit “Game of Thrones.”
The accolades give HBO new bragging rights in the increasingly competitive battle for viewers of streaming video.
HBO is available on pay TV and online. Parent company AT&T Inc. plans to unveil an expanded streaming service called HBO Max next spring to compete with Netflix Inc, Amazon.com Inc’s Prime Video, new offerings from Walt Disney Co. and Apple Inc, and others.
“Game of Thrones” scored 12 awards overall, while HBO’s limited series “Chernobyl” won 10.
Amazon landed the Emmy for best comedy series and five other awards for its quirky British comedy “Fleabag,” one of the company’s 15 wins. “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel,” an Amazon comedy about a 1950s housewife-turned-comedian, received eight Emmys.
Netflix, the company that pioneered streaming video, finished in second place overall with 27 awards. They included best television movie for interactive film “Black Mirror: Bandersnatch,” which let viewers choose plot turns throughout.
Executive producer Charlie Brooker, while accepting the award on stage, thanked Netflix’s creative and technical team “who pulled off a magic trick.”
HBO had dominated the Emmys for years with hits such as “The Sopranos” and “Sex and the City.” It ran up a 16-year streak as the most-honored network until 2018, when Netflix and HBO tied with 23 awards each.
HBO’s Emmy dominance this year is welcome news for AT&T, a telecommunications and media conglomerate that is under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management Corp. to improve its business. AT&T in 2018 bought Time Warner, owner of HBO, CNN and Warner Bros.
Among traditional networks, the National Geographic cable channel secured eight wins, most of them for documentary “Free Solo,” and Comcast Corp’s NBC won seven.


Facebook’s Zuckerberg promises a review of content policies after backlash

Updated 06 June 2020

Facebook’s Zuckerberg promises a review of content policies after backlash

  • Trump's message contained the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts"

WASHINGTON: Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Friday said he would consider changes to the policy that led the company to leave up controversial posts by President Donald Trump during recent demonstrations protesting the death of an unarmed black man while in police custody, a partial concession to critics.
Zuckerberg did not promise specific policy changes in a Facebook post, days after staff members walked off the job, some claiming he kept finding new excuses not to challenge Trump.
"I know many of you think we should have labeled the President's posts in some way last week," Zuckerberg wrote, referring to his decision not to remove Trump's message containing the phrase "when the looting starts, the shooting starts."
"We're going to review our policies allowing discussion and threats of state use of force to see if there are any amendments we should adopt," he wrote. "We're going to review potential options for handling violating or partially-violating content aside from the binary leave-it-up or take-it-down decisions."
Zuckerberg said Facebook would be more transparent about its decision-making on whether to take down posts, review policies on posts that could cause voter suppression and would look to build software to advance racial justice, led by important lieutenants.
At a staff meeting earlier this week, employees questioned Zuckerberg's stance on Trump's post.
Zuckerberg, who holds a controlling stake in Facebook, has maintained that while he found Trump's comments "deeply offensive," they did not violate company policy against incitements to violence.
Facebook's policy is either to take down a post or leave it up, without any other options. Now, Zuckerberg said, other possibilities would be considered.
However, he added, "I worry that this approach has a risk of leading us to editorialize on content we don't like even if it doesn't violate our policies."