Emmy Winners & Losers: Netflix Hasn’t Conquered the World Quite Yet

The streaming service is locked into a heated battle with HBO. Which provider came out on top Sunday night?

Emmys HBO Netflix Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones star Peter Dinklage takes home his fourth Emmy award. ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images

Forget the carefully calculated coddling this era of participation trophies has promoted: winning matters. While worthy moral victories do exist on an individual basis, the industry behind them thrives on clear wins and losses, the distinction between success and failure. That is why the Primtime Emmys are an important barometer for series, networks and streaming services. Victories pronounce loudly and clearly that a product is worth a consumer’s time, engagement and money. Defeat labels you as an also-ran in an exceedingly crowded Darwinian ecosystem. That is why, heading into Sunday night’s ceremony, curious bystanders were invested in the clash between HBO and Netflix (NFLX).

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The premium cable channel led the market-leading streaming service in nominations 137-117 while flagship series Game of Thrones earned a record 32 nods despite a largely disappointing final season. Last year, the two entertainment providers ultimately shared the crown when both left the ceremony with 23 statues apiece. At a time in which the streaming wars are finally getting bloody, Sunday night’s Emmys may have served as the powder keg catalyst for the next stage of warfare. If so, HBO won this round.

The network led all competitors with 34 wins while Netflix placed second with 27. Considering that HBO will serve as the foundational building block for WarnerMedia’s forthcoming streaming service, HBO Max, one can safely assume the champagne was popped in earnest over at HQ. Amazon (AMZN) Prime Video followed them with 15 Emmys and National Geographic (eight) and NBC (seven) rounded out the top five.

In the battle of TV series, Game of Thrones took home 12 statues. The final season claimed the coveted Best Drama Series award and Best Supporting Actor for Peter Dinklage, but curiously missed out on writing, directing, actress, supporting actress and other key categories. HBO’s riveting miniseries Chernobyl also came away as a big winner with 12 wins while Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel was third with eight wins. Perhaps the evening’s most satisfying winner was Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s Fleabag, which took home six awards, including a surprising lead comedic actress win for Waller-Bridge. It’s safe to say that the supremely talented writer-creator-producer-star has cemented her mainstream breakout.

For a more general overview, here is the complete list of winners by series and network.


Game of Thrones – 12
Chernobyl – 10
The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel – 8
Free Solo – 7
Fleabag – 6
Love, Death & Robots – 5
Saturday Night Live – 5
Fosse/Verdon – 4
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver – 4
Queer Eye – 4
RuPaul’s Drag Race – 4
Age of Sail – 3
Barry – 3
Russian Doll – 3
State of the Union – 3
The Handmaid’s Tale – 3
Anthony Bourdain Parts Unknown – 2
Bandersnatch (Black Mirror) – 2
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – 2
Our Planet – 2
Ozark – 2
Rent – 2
Succession – 2
United Shade of America With W. Kamau Bell – 2
When They See Us – 2


HBO – 34
Netflix – 27
Prime Video – 15
National Geographic – 8
NBC – 7
CNN – 5
FX Networks – 5
CBS – 4
Fox – 4
Hulu – 4
VH1 – 4
YouTube – 4
SundanceTV – 3
CW – 2
ABC – 1
Apple Music – 1
BBC America – 1
Oculus Store – 1
Twitch – 1

Emmy Winners & Losers: Netflix Hasn’t Conquered the World Quite Yet