An Emmy award is displayed at the Academy of Television...

An Emmy award is displayed at the Academy of Television Arts & Science during 57th Annual Primetime Emmy Award nomination announcements Thursday, July 14, 2005, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Kevork Djansezian) Credit: AP Photo/KEVORK DJANSEZIAN

Like two boxers slowly circling each other at the start of a bout, the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences and the broadcast networks are getting ready to go toe-to-toe over a new contract for the Emmy Awards.

Under the old deal, which expired after NBC's August telecast, the show rotated among CBS, ABC, NBC and Fox. The license fee for the Emmys hit $7.5 million a year at the end of the eight-year contract. That does not include the millions the networks spend on production and promotion.

A LOT OF ISSUES Other points of contention have to do with the format of the show and online rights for content, including red-carpet ceremonies and behind-the-scenes material. There have been talks, but negotiations are not likely to get serious for weeks.

The networks don't want to see the price tag go up. Although live programming is viewed as valuable by the networks, the Emmy Awards show has not exceeded 15 million viewers since 2006, Nielsen says.

NETWORKS VS. HBOThe broadcast networks are constantly griping that too much of the show is dedicated to movies and miniseries, two categories usually dominated by HBO and other cable networks. HBO and the people who make cable movies counter that they should not be punished for excelling in a business that the broadcast networks have abandoned. Of course, cable doesn't shine only in long-form programming. Dramas such as AMC's "Mad Men" have cleaned up at the Emmys. Edie Falco, star of Showtime's "Nurse Jackie," took home an Emmy for best comedy actress last year.

THE PROGNOSIS The 2010-11 Emmy Awards are scheduled for Sept. 18, and Fox is the likely home since it is up next in the rotation. For now, it doesn't appear a cable network is going to step up to snag the awards show. Last time the deal was up, the academy was able to leverage a better contract because HBO had made a run for the show.

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