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Emmys Move Back to September 20 to Avoid Conflict With MTV VMAs

Just a few weeks after announcing a date change to September 13 to avoid broadcast competition with the NFL, CBS and the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences have backed down on their move, opting to go with the original plan of a September 20 ceremony for the 2009 Emmy Awards. The partners cite a conflict with MTV's Video Music Awards as the reason for switching back.

“After we announced plans for September 13, MTV informed us they were locked into the same day for the Video Music Awards, with venue and sponsorship agreements in place,” CBS executive vice president of specials, music, and live events Jack Sussman told Variety. “We had the flexibility to move; they didn't. It's best for the industry and the audience that these events not compete against each other.”

CBS and MTV are corporate cousins of a sort; although CBS is no longer owned by Viacom, MTV's parent, both are controlled by Sumner Redstone.

The benefits of the decision extend beyond the television industry. Competition for guests, venues, and producers would have been cutthroat on September 13 had the Emmys and VMAs gone head to head, especially if the VMAs are also in Los Angeles. Potential problems that Emmy party planners faced for the second date change have apparently been avoided. Brands with Emmy events already in place—such as Comedy Central and HBO—have successfully been able to move their respective parties back from September 13 to September 20 without needing to change venues.

As for the VMAs, MTV has not announced the location for its September 13 show.


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