Here’s What an Emmy Is Actually Worth

Mandatory Credit: Photo by ETIENNE LAURENT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock (10412559u)An Emmy statue is displayed during the 71st Emmy Awards Governors Ball press preview at L.
ETIENNE LAURENT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock / ETIENNE LAURENT/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Emmy season has begun. Nominations for the 73rd Emmy Awards will be announced on July 13 — more than two months before television’s biggest night, which falls on Sept. 19 this year.

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Winning an Emmy is a prestigious honor for those who work in the television industry, but you might wonder how much the award itself is actually worth? Here’s a look at the cost of each statuette and the value of winning one.

For Your Emmy Consideration Campaigns

More than just a victory for the cast and crew, scoring an Emmy is a big deal for a television network. Consequently, it’s not uncommon for big names like HBO, Netflix, Amazon and Hulu to spend tens of millions on Emmy campaigns, according to Variety.

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This is due to the brand-building nature of an Emmy win, and the ability to gain more subscribers with a lineup of award-winning shows. Of course, to keep things fair, the Television Academy has strict guidelines for FYC campaigns and events. This includes everything from rules about how the word Emmy is used to regulations on events.

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Cost of an Emmy Statuette

If you think an Emmy looks fancy, that’s because it is. Coated in copper, nickel, silver and gold, each statuette takes 5 1/2 hours to make and costs $400, according to People.

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That’s not the only expense involved with these awards. Some winners — i.e., in certain categories where a large number of people share the honor — have to pay the Television Academy to keep their statuette, according to People.

If you watch the Emmys on television, you’ll see talent honored in a variety of categories, but that’s just a small fraction of winners. In total, there are 116 categories, meaning the Television Academy spends at least $46,400 on Emmy statuettes — not including those with multiple winners.

Emmy Winner Salary Boost

There’s no hard and fast rule that scoring an Emmy will bring the winner a pay increase. However, being recognized in front of your peers for your outstanding talent certainly can’t hurt matters.

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For example, “Modern Family” debuted in 2009, and by 2012 the cast and crew had racked up a total of 16 Emmy wins. That same year, the six adult actors — Ed O’Neill, Sofia Vergara, Julie Bowen, Ty Burrell, Eric Stonestreet and Jesse Tyler Ferguson — scored major raises from 20th Century Fox Television, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

While the ensemble’s Emmy wins are not mentioned as a reason for the pay increase, it likely helped give them leverage.

Emmys at Auction

When a person wins an Emmy, the statuette remains the property of the Television Academy, according to the organization’s official Emmy rules. They’re allowed to pass it along to an heir or successor, but the award cannot be sold, auctioned or disposed of in any other manner.

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However, Whitney Houston’s 1986 Emmy was slated to hit the auction block in 2016, before a federal judge blocked the sale. The late singer’s estate had turned the award over to Heritage Auctions to sell, but it was ultimately returned, due to the ruling.

Greg Rohan, Heritage Auctions president, argued that at least 40 Emmy Awards have been resold in sales and auctions. However, this one likely caught the attention of the Television Academy due to Houston’s A-list fame.

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Similarly, four Emmys won by late actress Valerie Harper were also withdrawn from auction in 2020, following a Television Academy lawsuit. Online bidding had already begun, with each statuette expected to sell for $6,000 to $8,000.

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Last updated: July 12, 2021

About the Author

Laura Woods is a freelance writer with more than 10 years of experience. She specializes in a variety of topics, including marketing, personal finance, entertainment and lifestyle. Her work has been featured on dozens of sites, including HuffPost, CNBC, Business Insider, Nasdaq, MSN, Yahoo, Fortune, Inc., Entrepreneur and POPSUGAR. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Pittsburgh and an MBA from Robert Morris University.

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