On Wednesday, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. sued Dick Clark Productions for breach of contract, alleging that the company negotiated an unauthorized six-year extension with NBC for the broadcast rights to the Golden Globes. DCP has been a division of Red Zone Capital, Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder‘s private equity firm, since 2007. It has produced the Globecast since 1983 with the two parties splitting the net profits.
The upcoming ceremony marks the end of a 10-year deal with the Peacock network. Over the years, ratings have risen for the awardscast with last year’s ceremony drawing 17.2 million viewers. For NBC, this is one bright slot in an otherwise lacklustre slate of programming. The HFPA claims that DCP was willing to renew the deal with the net for too little money.
In the lawsuit, HFPA refutes the claim by DCP, “that any unilateral agreement with NBC, even one that involves licensing fees substantially below current market rates, permits DCPto remain as HFPA’s licensee and to usurp HFPA’s control over the production and broadcast rights for future Golden Globe Awards shows. NBC has no force or effect because DCP has no broadcast rights to grant.” The HFPA also claims that DCP interfered in their negotiations with Facebook.
In a statement, DCP said, “The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., knowing it has has no case in a court of law, is attempting to try this case in the court of public opinion. We are confident the case has no merit in either venue.”
Image: 2009 Golden Globes opening (NBC)