PricewaterhouseCoopers to Safeguard Hollywood's Biggest Secret for 72nd Year

Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas Lead Academy Awards Balloting Process

New York, New York, UNITED STATES

LOS ANGELES, Feb. 8, 2006 (PRIMEZONE) -- Continuing its 72-year relationship with the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), PricewaterhouseCoopers today announced that Brad Oltmanns and Rick Rosas will lead the balloting process for the 78th Annual Academy Awards(r). Oltmanns and Rosas will be the only people who know who the Oscars winners are before their names are announced to the world during the Academy Awards telecast on ABC at 5 p.m. PST (8 p.m. EST) on Sunday, March 5, 2006.

"In a time when information can travel around the world in an instant, PricewaterhouseCoopers ensures the secrecy of the Academy Awards voting process by hand-counting each and every ballot," said Sid Ganis, president of the Academy. "The Academy Awards balloting and voting process demands the highest level of trust, integrity and tradition -- and that continues to be the foundation of our long-standing relationship with PwC."

PricewaterhouseCoopers' engagement with the Academy is a continuing source of pride for the Firm. In 72 years, only 12 partners have had the privilege of counting ballots. To ensure secrecy, Oltmanns and Rosas lead a close-mouthed group of accountants who work on the project in a secret location for several days. There are approximately 6,000 voting Academy members and the ballot process takes approximately 1,700 "person-hours" each year to count and verify the ballots.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers has created a process based on hand tabulations that has worked for more than seven decades. Just the way Rolls-Royce continues to build cars by hand, we continue to count by hand," said Oltmanns, managing partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers -- Los Angeles. "In the 72 years of counting and validating the Academy Awards ballots, there has never been a security breach. I am proud to be part of the tradition for years to come."

"We are very proud of our long-time involvement with the Academy Awards, which has been an important part of our long association with Hollywood and the entertainment and media industry," said Rosas, tax partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers' Entertainment and Media practice.

Oltmanns, who joins Rosas to lead the Academy balloting team for his second consecutive year, has served PricewaterhouseCoopers for 26 years, and is in charge of managing its entire 1,200-person staff in Los Angeles. Rosas has served the firm for 10 years and was appointed tax partner in 2001. This is his fifth year leading the Academy's balloting process.

How it Works

PricewaterhouseCoopers mails to eligible Academy members the nomination ballots in December, final ballots in February, and receives all votes. The balloting partners then manually tabulate the responses according to Academy rules. As a precautionary measure, two complete sets of envelopes bearing recipients' names are prepared and brought by PricewaterhouseCoopers partners to the ceremony via separate, secret routes. As a second precautionary measure, the PricewaterhouseCoopers partners also memorize the names of the award winners.

Identities of Oscar recipients are kept confidential until they are announced during the live telecast. During the telecast, Oltmanns and Rosas remain backstage and hand the envelopes to award presenters immediately before they walk onstage.

For additional information, including photos and video, visit:

Fun Facts from 72 Years of Oscar(r) Balloting

 -- 420,000: The approximate number of ballots counted by
    PricewaterhouseCoopers in 72 years on the job.

 -- 2,425: The number of winners' envelopes stuffed since the
    envelope system was introduced in 1941.

 -- 1,700: The approximate number of "person-hours" it takes the
    PricewaterhouseCoopers team every year to count and verify the
    ballots by hand.

 -- 72: The number of years PricewaterhouseCoopers has conducted
    the Oscar balloting.

 -- 52: The number of broadcasts PricewaterhouseCoopers' partners
    have appeared on since 1953 -- the year the Oscars were first
    televised.  The partners used to come on stage to hand-deliver
    the envelopes -- hence, "and the envelope please" -- but this
    is now done just offstage.

 -- 24: The number of awards categories tabulated at a secret
    location known only to the members of the small
    PricewaterhouseCoopers ballot team

 -- 7: The number of days it takes to count the ballots for

 -- 3: The number of days it takes to count the final ballots.

About PricewaterhouseCoopers

PricewaterhouseCoopers' Entertainment and Media (E&M) practice is comprised of a network of more than 3,000 practitioners providing audit, advisory and tax services to help clients manage risk, maximize shareholder value and support M&A activities. It addresses business challenges for its clients, including developing strategies to leverage digital technology; marketplace positioning in industries characterized by consolidation and convergence; and identifying new sources of financing. Known as an industry thought leader, the E&M practice publishes the annual Global Entertainment and Media Outlook and other surveys and white papers highlighting current and future trends in the industry.

PricewaterhouseCoopers ( provides industry-focused assurance, tax and advisory services to build public trust and enhance value for its clients and their stakeholders. More than 130,000 people in 148 countries work collaboratively using Connected Thinking to develop fresh perspectives and practical advice.

"PricewaterhouseCoopers" refers to the network of member firms of PricewaterhouseCoopers International Limited, each of which is a separate and independent legal entity.

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