Disney+ Falls Behind As All Competitors Stream Awards Shows. Could Disney+ Stream The Oscars In 2023?

Let’s have some fun and do America’s 2nd Favorite Pastime: an Award Show Streaming Round-Up! There’s many things nothing Americans love more than gathering around the TV to watch celebrities pat themselves on the back. Experiencing these award shows LIVE via a streaming service offers an air of legitimacy to both the streaming medium and the service that makes it possible. If things that were once the top rated events on broadcast TV can now be seen via streaming, the streaming era is not a trend, right?

We’ve made a lot of solid arguments in the past that Disney+ and Disney Streaming are not providing the same value as their competitors. Will this experiment provide another example of them falling short? Spoiler: Yes. Very yes.

GOLDEN GLOBES

Livestream✅

Service: Peacock

Airs on NBC and livestreamed on Peacock this year for the 1st time!

GRAMMY AWARDS

Livestream✅

Service: Paramount+

Airs on CBS and will livestream on Paramount+ February 5, 2023.

SAG AWARDS

Livestream✅

Service: Netflix (beginning 2024)

*Just* signed a deal to stream on Netflix moving forward! In February 2023 it will stream via Netflix’s YouTube channel, then after they launch their livestream feature this spring, it will be in-app next year and beyond.

ACM AWARDS

Livestream✅

Service: Prime Video (beginning 2023)

Will livestream exclusively on Prime Video May 11, 2023 for the 1st time!

BILLBOARD MUSIC AWARDS

Livestream✅

Service: Peacock

Airs on NBC and will livestream on Peacock May 14, 2023.

TONY AWARDS

Livestream✅

Service: Paramount+

Airs on CBS and streams on Paramount+ June 11, 2023.

EMMY AWARDS

Livestream✅

Service: Peacock

Airs on NBC and livestreams on Peacock September 2023.

KID’S CHOICE AWARDS

Livestream✅

Service: Paramount+ (beginning 2023)

Airs on Nickelodeon and will livestream on Paramount+ for the first time March 4, 2023.

MTV MUSIC AWARDS

Livestream❌

Service: Paramount+ (next day)

Airs on MTV August 27, 2023 and has NOT livestreamed on Paramount+ yet. Perhaps 2023 will start that? They do post it the next day. I suspect 2023 shifts to livestream, the new industry-standard. After all, Paramount+ does so for their other award shows.

but what about Disney’s rights to the Oscars?

ACADEMY AWARDS (OSCARS)

Livestream❌

Service: Hulu (next day)

Airs on ABC and has NOT livestreamed on a streaming service before. They actually livestream it through ABC.com, further proving their organization is not prepared for the streaming era in USA. They remain the most married to linear and it’s a bad look, giving the appearance that Disney is a “grandpa” who doesn’t fit in with the cool kids (Paramount, Comcast, Netflix, Amazon). Just look at the Oscars site right now… “Watch on ABC.com and the ABC App by authenticating with your provider.” Shameful.

Sadly, due to horrible strategies in USA, it will likely be on Hulu even when they do decide to wake up and stop being the only company that hasn’t added a streaming service option to their awards show’s availability. It’s not just us, respected sources like Variety and Tom’s Guide have even been calling for them to stream the Oscars for years. I regret that I can’t locate the Oscars article at Variety that inspired this article, but they even asked why Disney was sleeping on this and suggested tacking on streaming rights would be a simple contract change for them to make as the Academy Awards would desperately like to increase their viewership as linear ratings for awards shows are TANKING.. ABC has the rights until 2028 and the deal was made long before Disney+ was even a thought, so Disney HAS TO FIX THIS.

The Wrap just wants to see it go to streaming – anywhere. GET WITH THE TIMES. 👏

Disney+ Can’t Move Forward

Why has Disney been so far behind everyone in the industry from the moment Peacock, Paramount+, and HBO Max launched? It seemed like they were visionaries, but then… they stopped updating the UI, adding features, adding Walt-era titles, buying out deals (sorry Touchstone / Fox), refused to workout the Hulu / Disney+ issues, and kept making bad decisions that could have enriched their flagship streaming service by providing at least SOME of the value that cheaper services offer. Whether that’s sticking NEW next day episodes of Nat Geo on Hulu AFTER the Disney+ price increase and ad-tier launch, being the only service to not add free livestreams of their local affiliate networks (CBS on Paramount+, NBC on Peacock), or even just making deals without Disney+ in mind.

They just signed a big 5-year renewal for WHEEL OF FORTUNE and JEOPARDY… but notice the press release says nothing about Disney+. How the heck do you make a deal for shows this big without getting your streaming service in the door? They could have set up co-streaming or Disney+ exclusive spin-offs or specials, instead they look to be keeping their ABC status quo…

I just do not get it and am very worried about the people they have in charge favoring linear and Hulu way too much. Is it Dana Walden that doesn’t want the change? Michael Paull? Bob Iger? Kareem Daniel and Bob Chapek are gone now.

2022 Had Promise For Disney

In 2022, Disney tested their livestream feature by airing the Oscar Nominations special. They’re such goofballs that the Oscars themselves were not also livestreamed on Disney+. Who cares if awards shows suck? They still bring in plenty of eyeballs. Disney COULD still make a deal to get the OSCARS to stream this March, but will they? It seems unlikely.

Shortly after that Oscar Nominations livestream they added TV-MA and Rated R capability and unlocked all parental controls. They dropped the ball on that by only really using them for the Marvel Defenders Saga shows, but their marketing was VERY misleading and suggested a lot more would come. That’s because they recycled the marketing they used to launch STAR internationally a year later which resulted in 400-500 more titles dropping in everywhere.

Hell, DWTS moving to Disney+ as a live show in the fall looked like the start of something amazing. This was one time Disney was back in the lead, but that seems to have flopped because they never shared stats and did not immediately announce something for January to take its place. Who knows when or if another livestream show will appear in the USA? Way to lose the hype, guys!

Disney must relish being behind everybody else. It shouldn’t be this way.

It’s 2023, the year of the Disney 100. Wake up. Get rid of Hulu and FOCUS on making Disney+ the #1 platform in USA for ALL of Disney’s catalog – ESPN – 20th Century Fox – you name it.

Author: Drew Ryan
Drew Ryan is a film, TV, and Disney geek. He has degrees in English, Student Personnel Administration, and Library & Information Science from Lawrence University, Concordia University-Wisconsin, and University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Interested in the minutia and licensing of streaming service content, he is always publishing lists, suggestions, and advocating for Disney’s missing library to be added to Disney+. Drew subscribes to Disney+, Hulu, Netflix, HBO Max, and Paramount+. You can find him waxing nostalgic over classic Disney Channel or geeking out over Marvel, CW shows, & Disney on Twitter.