Stream This Year’s Oscars! Or, Wait. Whoops. Not Really.

by Colin McGuire. 0 Comments

That sure is a mighty big Oscar, there. (Photo courtesy The Associated Press)

That sure is a mighty big Oscar, there. (Photo courtesy The Associated Press)

Hey, remember when we live-blogged the Oscars?! How fun was that?! The answer, of course, was very. Very fun, indeed. (Side: Too bad we can’t import the comments from these things — going back and forth that night was half the fun!). The year was 2012. This paper had a different-looking website. I still had friends. The ceremony was still held in February. And, most importantly, “The Artist,” which someone I know once claimed it “the best silent movie of 2012,” cleaned up.

Don’t worry. You aren’t the only one who forgot that movie existed.

This year? Well, I’ll be making the drive up to Harrisburg for the fourth year in a row to partake in the Nerdiest Thing To Do On Oscar Night: Attend a live-stream of the ceremony at a party held in an art-house theater. Come for the costumes. Stay for the free wine (which, for the record, better be infinite this year). Raise your hand if you can’t wait. My left arm is up.

Yet should we get some death-defying snowstorm Sunday afternoon (not out of the question with the way this winter has gone), I shall rest easy knowing that I’ll still be able to watch the show in the comfort of my own Internet TV home! Or, well, maybe not. Ms. Solsman of CNet, what say you …

“The presentation ceremony for the Oscars — routinely the most-watched live awards telecast of the year — will be streamed live over the Internet for the first time by broadcaster ABC and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the group that runs the awards,” she wrote yesterday.

Sounds great, doesn’t it? History will be made! Stupid awards shows are finally beginning to smarten up! The Roku lives to see another day!

Only, but. Not really.

The stipulations run as such: In order to watch the trophy show on the Internet, you must live in a city where a cable television service provider has agreed to pay ABC for digital rights to the show. Oh, and then there’s this tiny nugget, too: You actually have to subscribe to a cable TV service in order to access the stuff in the first place. Rumor also has it that if you somehow don’t think “12 Years A Slave” deserves Best Picture honors, you don’t get Ellen as your host and Piers Morgan will be narrating your feed.

Again. Just a rumor.

Anyway, let’s turn back toward Solsman’s piece …

“Sunday’s Oscars live stream is available only to TV subscribers of Comcast, Cablevision, Cox Communications, Charter Communications, Midcontinent Communications, Verizon FiOS, Google Fiber and AT&T U-verse — and only those who live in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston, Raleigh-Durham, and Fresno, Calif.”

Conspicuous by their absence on the list, of course, are the words “Frederick” and “Maryland.” Ditto for “Time,” “Warner,” “Cable,” “DirecTV” or “Dish.” Weirdly, “bunny” and “ears” were.

That last part wasn’t true.

And so it goes. We still have progress to make when it comes to these high-brow awards shows. Why somebody at Disney thinks propping up 15 cameras anywhere but the main room for a ridiculously pointless “backstage stream” is beyond any logical comprehension. Give us everything or give us nothing at all, I say. Forget liberty. Forget death.

For those looking for a whole bunch of words about Old Oscar, click on over to Mr. Hunley’s blog, where he has been chronicling the whole thing for months. For those with an actual cable TV package, the ceremony kicks off at 8:30 p.m. Sunday night. And for those who feel like making the hike up to Pennsylvania this weekend to see which costume the Black Swan girl will wear this year … well, just give me a call.

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