Oscars Conflict: How the Winter Games Could Affect the 2014 Academy Awards

Since 2009, the Academy Awards have been trying to move its ceremony up to shrink the gap between the Oscars and its rival telecasts, containing the lengthy awards race into a shorter time frame. But a significant event might drastically alter the 2014 Oscars schedule, and it might not be for the better.
The 2014 Winter Olympics are scheduled to be held from Feb. 7-23, which would be the Sunday that coincides with Oscar Sunday if the Academy held to a similar calendar next year. This could mean that the Oscars would be held in March for the first time since March 7, 2010 – coincidentally, the last time the telecast conflicted with the Winter Games.
“They don’t have a lot of wiggle room,” Horizon Media research director Brad Adgate tells EW of the schedule conflict facing the Academy. “I would suspect next year’s Oscars will be held in March. The Academy Awards have never been held in January. They’re always the final show during awards season, and obviously the most prestigious and highest rated.” 
Instead of moving back, the Screen Actors Guild and the Producers Guild of America already have announced that they will move up to Martin Luther King Jr. weekend (Jan. 18-19) to avoid both the Olympics and the Super Bowl, scheduled for Feb. 2, 2014. 
The Oscars should move forward, as well. Holding them at the end of February already extends a painfully long campaign season. And in my own personal opinion, it’s tiresome talking about 2012 films – no matter how good they happen to be – in late February or early March of the following year. The Oscars should be handed out in mid- to late-January, to put a cap on the previous year while the films – and the passion fans have for nominated films – are still fresh in voters minds. 
As EW points out, pushing the Oscars back to March means “there could be a month-long gap between the 86th annual Academy Awards and all other awards season ceremonies, if those shows are scheduled for January and the Oscars end up in March … [which] raises concerns for Oscar organizers about potential loss of interest and momentum for nominees, which ultimately could dampen the show’s all-important TV ratings.”
Tell us your thoughts. Are you OK with the Oscars possibly moving back to March? Would you prefer to see it moved up the calendar, possibly to January? Or will you simply tune in to watch the Oscars whenever the Academy decides to telecast its annual awards program.
Of course, our own Dave Karger covers every detail of the Oscar race in Fandango’s Awards Watch Guide, and you can hear his recap of the most recent Academy Awards campaign in the original video series, The Frontrunners!
Follow along on Twitter @Sean_OConnell and @Fandango
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