Golden Globes wins can bring long-term benefits to media companies

When Golden Globes host Ricky Gervais joked Sunday night that nobody cares about the awards, he could have been talking about Wall Street. Shares for publicly traded media companies tend not to be swayed much by one of the biggest events in show business.

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But the massive exposure that the trophies bring — an average of 18.5 million viewers watched the Globes telecast on NBC — can lead to long-term benefits and energize aspects of their businesses. Here is how the biggest Globes-winning media conglomerates could benefit from their trophy hauls:

21st CENTURY FOX Trophies: A total of eight — six for the film studio and two for TV, the most of any company. Potential upside: Three wins for "The Revenant" dovetail nicely with the movie's strong weekend at the box office ($40 million) as it opened in wide release and created the strongest momentum for any film going into the Academy Awards.

"The Martian," the winner for motion picture, musical or comedy — whose star, Matt Damon, won the Golden Globe for best actor in that category — has already taken in about $596 million at the global box office. The film was released Oct. 2 and remains in a few hundred theaters in the U.S. and Canada and is out on DVD today.

"We are certainly hoping for a boost, for sure," said Chris Aronson, president of domestic distribution for 20th Century Fox.

TV success story: Lady Gaga's win for "American Horror Story" should encourage other entertainment superstars to try TV, especially for a limited series on an adventurous channel such as FX. Such high-profile casting can create excitement and more viewers for such shows. 

COMCAST — Trophies: Two for Universal Pictures' movie "Steve Jobs" and USA Network's show "Mr. Robot." Potential upside: "Mr. Robot" is at the center of USA Network's effort to reposition itself as a cable network destination for younger-skewing, bolder programming with unlikely heroes who are rebels with a cause. Winning awards helps to reinforce that effort.

"It certainly gives us a lot of momentum as we roll out the next generation of USA shows," network President Chris McCumber said. "It certainly has a halo effect on the network and on advertisers as well."

"Jobs" reboot? After the movie flopped at the box office, the wins for Kate Winslet and screenwriter Aaron Sorkin could revive interest in the aftermarket for the biopic. The studio had no comment, but Sorkin viewed the award as vindication.

"We understood it wasn't for everybody," Sorkin said in an interview Sunday night. "It wasn't going to be 'The Martian,' but we worked so hard on it. We just didn't want that to be the epitaph of the movie. So this is just very, very nice," he said as pointed to his trophy.

AMAZON — Trophies: Two for "Mozart in the Jungle," including best TV series, musical or comedy. Potential upside: Choosing a comedy about finding love while maneuvering through the world of classical music in New York City may reflect the quirky taste of the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. But the result is another streaming TV show, which many viewers probably never heard of before Sunday, is now on the map.

"It makes more people aware of the shows and the lineup and more people, in turn, will come to Amazon to try it," said Roy Price, head of Amazon Studios. "We definitely saw that last year with 'Transparent.'"

Too much TV? After wins in two consecutive years with "House of Cards," streaming service Netflix left the ballroom empty-handed Sunday, showing just how competitive the TV landscape is.

CBS — Trophies: One each for Showtime's "The Affair" and CW's "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend," which is made by CBS Productions. Potential upside: Every award for Showtime's original programs helps boost the value of a premium monthly subscription, which is even more important because CBS now offers Showtime as a streaming service that can be purchased without a cable hookup.

Gary Levine, Showtime's president of programming, said the win for best supporting actress Maura Tierney "reinforces the fact that 'The Affair' has really ascended into the upper echelon of the best complex, quality dramas."

Perception building: CW President Mark Pedowitz, who personally rescued "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend" from a busted pilot scrapheap, said the win for Rachel Bloom as best actress for a TV series, musical or comedy, is a major statement for his network, a joint venture of CBS and Time Warner. "It gives you greater credibility for quality productions," he said.

Pedowitz added that when Gina Rodriguez won the same award last year for CW's "Jane the Virgin," there was an uptick in TV viewing and streaming of the series' next few episodes. He's hoping that the same thing will happen with "Crazy Ex-Girlfriend." "If you had concerns about the show, having the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. tell you it's the real deal says 'Check it out,'" he said.

TIME WARNER — Trophies: One for HBO and a share with MGM on "Creed," whose star, Sylvester Stallone, won a Golden Globe for best supporting actor.

Potential upside: Not much, because Oscar Isaac's win for best performance by an actor in a miniseries or motion picture for TV was for the high-minded but not wildly popular "Show Me a Hero." But HBO gets most of its awards love from Emmy voters, and with its top shows such as "Game of Thrones," "Girls" and "Silicon Valley" returning in April, there should be many winged statuettes awaiting the network in September.

Battaglio reported from New York.

Staff writers Yvonne Villarreal, Daniel Miller and Meg James contributed to this report. 


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A version of this article appeared in print on January 12, 2016, in the Business section of the Los Angeles Times with the headline "COMPANY TOWN - A golden afterglow - Globes-winning media companies may benefit" — Today's paperToday's paper | Subscribe