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These Networks (and Netflix) Dominated the 2016 Emmy Nominations

Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in HBO's Game of Thrones.Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in HBO's Game of Thrones.
Sophie Turner as Sansa Stark in HBO's Game of Thrones.© 2016 HBO

The Television Academy announced its 2016 Emmy nominees on Thursday and, just like last year, HBO spent the day counting up its nominations, resulting in celebratory gifs and tweets.

HBO, which is owned by Time Warner (TWX) led all networks and platforms with a whopping 94 total nominations this year, including a leading 23 noms for the massively popular fantasy series Game of Thrones. HBO’s Veep earned the most nominations for a comedy series, with 17. While it was certainly a banner day for the premium cable network, HBO’s tally actually dropped off from 2015, when the network garnered 126 nominations.

Of course, it’s hard for HBO to complain about the 25% decrease, especially since the next most-nominated network was Fox’s FX, which scored 56 nominations, led by 22 nods for the acclaimed miniseries The People vs. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story as well as 18 nominations for the second season of Fargo. What’s more, three of the four major broadcast networks—ABC, CBS, and FOX—all saw their nomination totals fall, while NBC’s tally remained flat year-over-year.

But, while the domination of cable networks like HBO and FX (AMC also pulled in a solid 24 nominations) was on full display during Thursday morning’s announcements, the growing threat posed by streaming media continues to cast a shadow over cable’s celebration of its clout versus more traditional broadcasters.

Once again, Netflix saw its Emmy nominations climb, as the streaming service’s tally increased from 34 in 2015 to 54 this year. The service is only three years removed from being elated with the 14 nominations it landed in 2013, but Netflix has spent a lot of money on the quantity and quality of its original content in recent years—bulking up to the tune of 600 hours of original content churned out this year at a price of roughly $5 billion.

Amazon is also spending a lot (though the company won’t say how much) to grow its library of original content and the e-commerce giant’s Instant Video service again saw its Emmy nominations increase this year, to 16 from 12 last year. Of course, even though Amazon’s nomination total falls short of its streaming rival, Amazon still managed to post more Emmy wins than Netflix in 2015 (five for Amazon to Netflix’s four), thanks to big wins for the company’s comedy series Transparent.

Hulu—the streaming service run by ABC, NBC, and FOX as a joint venture—joined the streaming part at the Emmy nominations with two nods this year, while Google’s YouTube and Sony’s Crackle streaming service racked up three nominations apiece.

Meanwhile, HBO is doing its best to compete with the onslaught of streaming content flooding the market. The network recently said it is increasing its annual output of original content by roughly half to match the 600 hours of programming Netflix plans to release this year—this, despite the fact that HBO’s content budget is reportedly under $2 billion, or less than half that of Netflix.

The 68th Emmy Awards will air on ABC on September 18.