The Golden Globes are traditionally among the biggest awards in television: the Academy Awards of the small screen, and one of the biggest film award nights as well. But last year’s scandal regarding nominations has left the event in a kind of purgatory.
The 79th Golden Globes were on Sunday, January 9th. Normally, it would have aired on NBC, live. But it wasn’t broadcast on live TV and probably never will. Maybe next year. But there are lots of award shows; see our event guide for more information on watching without cable.
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If you were looking forward to the 79th Golden Globes, you may be confused and disappointed to know that the awards were already awarded in a comparatively quiet private event on January 9th.
It wasn’t televised or even live-streamed — it was, in effect, Insta’ed and live-tweeted — poorly. What happened? Will the Golden Globes be back on TV next year? Who gives these things out, anyway?
The Golden Globes
The Golden Globes are awarded by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA). It is an organization formed in the 1940s by Hollywood correspondents from abroad in order to leverage their collective clout for access to celebrities and studios.
One of the first things the association did was to launch the Golden Globe awards for movie-making achievement. Thirteen years later, in 1956, they started handing out TV awards too. The yearly ceremony positioned itself first in the line of (mostly movie) awards shows that lead to the Oscars later in the year, and could thus claim to kick off “awards season.”
The movie and TV industries, as a whole, seem to have a real love-hate relationship with the HFPA and the Golden Globes. The consensus seems to be that no one really takes them seriously as awards (as opposed to the prestige of the Academy Awards, or the credibility of the various filmmaker trade organizations).
At the same time, the Golden Globes are useful as publicity vehicles, raising public visibility and generating Oscar (or Emmy) buzz. And money. Lots and lots and lots of money.
Described last year as “boozy, irreverent, and generally jolly good fun” by The New York Times, the HFPA was given a fair amount of leeway in consideration of what a party they could throw (and the ratings it could generate). Leeway on what? Keep reading…
The 79th Golden Globes
So what happened this year? The 79th Golden Globes were presented with no press coverage, telecast, celebrities, or fanfare. And a great deal of hand-wringing.
It all goes back to the HFPA, which almost no one outside Hollywood or the media has even heard of. To make a long story short, right before the Golden Globes aired in 2021 (several weeks late due to the coronavirus), Los Angeles Times published two articles criticizing the organization. It cited various ethical failures, questionable membership practices, and a lack of diversity exemplified by the complete absence of any Black members.
Regardless, the HFPA decided to push on with presenting the awards, albeit without any actual public presentation. The announcing tweets were both condemned and ridiculed as tone-deaf and bush-league (one recommended seeing Best Comedy/Musical winner West Side Story because “laughter is the best medicine”).
Golden Globes on TV
NBC has been the Golden Globes’ go-to network for decades, from back when the ceremony was only broadcast locally in LA from 1958 to 1964 and moving forward when they went national.
In 1968, the FCC censured the awards for “misleading the public as to how winners were determined.” They specifically called out NBC for supporting the bad behavior. The awards show wouldn’t be telecast on NBC again until 1978.
In 1979, it went untelevised again, then was picked up by CBS, first locally in 1980 and then nationally for ’81 and ’82. Then Pia Zadora’s husband allegedly bought her the 1982 “best new star” win, causing CBS to drop the awards.
After wandering in the syndication wilderness and a brief stint on TBS, it would return to NBC in 1996 and remain there for 27 years.
Watching the Golden Globes Without Cable
So no Golden Globes spectacle on TV in 2022. NBC still has the Globes under contract, so look to the Peacock Network later this year to see if the HFPA has shown an acceptable level of penitence.
The good news is that if the Golden Globes do end up on NBC, it’ll be pretty easy to catch them, even without cable. You can watch NBC either over the air (OTA) free or with a subscription to most streaming services that carry the local network affiliates.
NBC is an old network, and has pretty good coverage over the entire country. So chances are that wherever you live, you can pick up an NBC station with an antenna.
If you are thinking of the wiry things you have to put up on your roof, you are probably mistaken. Modern digital antennas typically look like flat plastic about a foot square with a cord coming out of it, and are available for less than $50. (You can still use a big antenna on your roof and you will likely be amazed at what you get — but it normally isn’t necessary.)
Plug in a digital antenna into your TV, tell your TV to scan for channels, and you’re good to go. See our indoor HD antenna guide to get started.
But maybe you don’t want to have an ugly antenna hanging on the wall in your living room. Or you may be in a bad location to get NBC OTA. That’s cool — these live TV streaming services have you covered (with no long-term commitments or contracts!) All of them carry NBC!
- Hulu + Live TV: On the pricier side at $69.99/mo, Hulu’s Live TV service is a complete entertainment service and a great value. It offers over 85 live sports, news, and entertainment channels. And you get its fabulous on-demand library along with Disney+ and ESPN+. See our Hulu Live review for all the details.
- Sling TV: Great flexibility combined with a super-wide selection of add-ons and premiums. Base plans start at $35/mo, and it’s designed to integrate an antenna if you want. On the downside, if you’re not careful, you can nickel-and-dime yourself into a higher monthly bill than cable. But more than any other service, Sling TV puts you in charge of your plan. Find out more in our Sling TV review.
- FuboTV: Built with the international soccer fan in mind (hence the name), Fubo offers a ton of sports coverage from around the world you won’t find anywhere else. It also provides a good overall non-sports lineup. Plans start at $64.99/mo for over 100 channels but there are many add-on options. See our FuboTV review for more information.
- DIRECTV STREAM: Also offers a well-rounded channel lineup, though slightly fewer than average in the base Entertainment tier ($69.99/mo). Also provides the most cable-like experience of the streaming services, making the transition easier if you’re not wild about stressing over a leisure activity like TV. And for sports fans, it offers the biggest selection of regional sports networks in its Choice plan for $84.99/mo. Our DIRECTV STREAM review has more details.
- YouTube TV: Offers a plan that is similar to Hulu + Live TV. It offers more channels for slightly less money but doesn’t include ESPN+, Disney+, and Hulu’s outstanding on-demand library.
Live Stream Devices for the Golden Globe Awards
The major streaming devices are widely supported. All of the services support the following: Amazon Fire TV, Android, Apple TV, Chromecast, iOS, Roku, Samsung smart TVs, and web browsers.
Hulu, Sling, and Fubo support Android TV, LG and Vizio smart TVs. They also support Xbox gaming systems. For gamers, Hulu really is the best choice as it includes support for the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation systems. DIRECTV STREAM has its own (optional) device.
We’ve only listed the most popular devices here. If you have a different one, check out streaming reviews. They have complete lists.
Snarky comedian hosts? Drunk celebrities? Wins so odd you think there must have been money changing hands? All delivered by a press organization that has former Russian bodybuilder and action B-movie star Alexander Nevsky among its members? What’s not to love?
Here’s hoping the Globes will be back next year, in all their old disreputable or new reputable glory!
What did the Golden Globes do that was so bad?
The dilettante (at best) status of many HFPA “reporters” has been a source of inside jokes around Hollywood for years. Most press organizations have strict rules concerning the quality and quantity of journalism its members have to produce. This includes the number of articles and what kind of publications they appear in. But whatever the HFPA’s rules are (no one seems to know), they don’t seem to enforce them.
That wouldn’t be a big deal except it prevents celebrities and studios from granting interviews and photos to actual foreign journalists for fear of upsetting the Golden Globes gods. The HFPA rarely admits new members because most are reportedly hyper-territorial and don’t want the competition.
Meanwhile, it’s long been speculated that the small organization — around 80-90 members — is open to persuasion of the materialistic kind. The most recent example of this is last year’s nominations of Emily in Paris after Paramount flew several members to Paris. On top of that, Los Angeles Times and The New York Times both reported that the non-profit organization was paying its own members what some consider suspiciously cushy fees to sit on various committees.
And last, but certainly not least, not only were there no current active Black HFPA members, there haven’t been for two decades. Some have pointed to a long history of the Globes snubbing films and TV with Black stars. This comes after the Motion Picture Academy was similarly chastised with #OscarsSoWhite in 2015 and 2016, with their women and people of color membership has since doubled.
There was related consternation over rules that led to the American film Minari, about a Korean-American family pursuing the American dream which was filmed in Korean and English, forced to contend only in the “Foreign Language Film” category and not Best Drama, because it was over 50% Korean language.
Why aren’t the Golden Globes on TV this year?
After all that controversy, NBC announced last May that it would not be televising the 2022 Golden Globes, and that it would only consider televising them in 2023 if the Association showed sufficient reforms. Major studios and celebrity reps are boycotting the organization, the celebs themselves are making statements against them. Tom Cruise returned his three Golden Globe awards in protest.
How can I watch other awards programs without cable?
Here’s how to watch other popular awards programs throughout the year: