The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences plans to stage Hollywood’s big event on March 7, rather than in late February, to avoid a collision with the closing ceremonies of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, Canada.
“Why have two gigantic, spectacular events happen on the same day, particularly these days?” academy President Sid Ganis asked Wednesday. “The Olympics have some 237 events and we are one big event, so it was easier for us to move and we were happy to do it.”
The switch prevents the Oscars, which are broadcast on ABC, and the Olympics, which air on NBC, from stepping on each other’s toes in terms of audience and advertisers. “You can’t have them cannibalizing each other’s audience and the Olympics has always been the elephant in the room,” said Shari Anne Brill, programming director for the ad firm Carat.
Back in 2004, the academy moved the Oscars from their longtime traditional perch in March up to February, to shorten what had become a prolonged and costly award season. An award campaign for a single film can cost a studio as much as $50 million.
Three years ago, the academy also pushed the show into March to get out of the way of the Olympics. The academy noted it had planned to return the Oscars to February in 2011.