The 83rd annual Academy Awards will be airing on February 27th next year, but don’t be shocked if in 2012 the ceremony gets moved to the end of January or beginning of February. As reported on by the LA Times, the organizers are looking to potentially move up the date and make a transition to a digital system where voters would watch the films as well as vote all on the internet.
But why the change in schedule at all? For the answer, hit the jump.
There are several answers to why they would try and change the schedule. The simple answer is declining viewership. As it is now the Oscars is the last broadcasted major awards show, following the Golden Globes, Screen Actors Guild awards, Independent Spirit awards, and countless others. If the Academy Awards were earlier in the year the logic would be people and actors would feel less burned out and thus, more viewers.
The second reason would be the NFL, which is currently in talks to move from a 16-Game regular season to an 18-game. In 2011 the Super Bowl will be on February 6th. While it would be unknown when the 2012 Super Bowl would be, there’s a high chance there is a direct conflict between the two. As Bruce Davis, the Academy’s executive director, points out: “There are only a limited number of Sundays in January and February”
Assuming the awards show does move up, it would mean less time for DVD screeners of the films to be sent out, less time for ballots to be sent out, and less time for the voters to view the films. The answer would be the internet. Voters could watch the films online and simply cast their ballots in electronically. However, under a new system it would be likely that the foreign language film nominees would have to be announced later than the other nominations due to the overwhelming number of films (last year there were 65 films). I think it’s very likely we’ll see the transition announced soon.