For the eighth consecutive year, the annual Prime Time Awards will be given out on Cigar Coop.

The awards were launched in 2014, and in 2017 the awards began to be voted on by three hosts on the Prime Time Network of shows. This year, Ben Lee and Erron Nielsen were added to the voting panel, bringing expanding the voting team to five.

Last year saw a change to the process used, implementing a two-stage voting process. This year the process remains the same, but now with an expanded team.

In the first stage, each voting panelist was given the opportunity to submit up to three nominations in the five Prime Time Award categories. The nominations were then assembled into a list of finalists. In the second stage, each host submitted a weighted ballot of up to five candidates from the list of finalists. The weighted vote was 5 points for 1st place, 4 points for 2nd place, 3 points for 3rd place, 2 points for 4th place, and 1 point for 5th place. The votes were tallied up and the candidate with the most votes was declared the winner. In the event of a tie, the panel would go through a tie-breaker vote.

The panel votes on five categories. “Company” and “Factory” are divided between “Small/Medium” and “Large.” Designations of these sizes are done in advance of the nominations and are revisited on a yearly basis. While not an exact science, we look very closely at many parameters about the company or factory.

There are no adjustments made following the vote. The winner of the weighted vote wins the Prime Time Award. Each recipient will be awarded a plaque along with the top three cigars from the 2021 Countdown, and the Best Cigar Value Award.

It’s also important to separate this from the Performance Rankings we have unveiled. Performance Rankings focus on REVIEWS on Cigar Coop. The Prime Time Awards reflect the team as a whole and allow us to factor in intangible factors not covered in a review.

Voting is also considered on a calendar year basis (January 1, 2021, through December 31, 2021).

The five categories of the Prime Time Awards and the date the formal announcement of the winners and voting results will be made is as follows:

1/18/2022: Small/Medium Factory of the Year
1/19/2022: Large Factory of the Year
1/20/2022: Small/Medium Company of the Year
1/21/2022: Large Company of the Year
1/24/2022: Person of the Year