Golden Globes lawsuit against Dick Clark Prods. can proceed

On Monday, a U.S. District Court judge ruled that the the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. can continue to press its case against Dick Clark Productions. Last November, the HFPA  sued DCP 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 was hoping to have the suit dismissed.

In a statement, HFPA president Philip Berk said, “We are thrilled that the federal judge ruled in our favor that our lawsuit, claiming that DCP has no right to the Golden Globe Awards beyond 2011, has merit. We will continue the fight to reclaim all of our rights.”  And DCP issued the following: “The Court has taken the matter under submission and has not issued its final ruling. We will await that before offering any comment.” 

The recent ceremony marked the end of a 10-year deal with the Peacock network. Over the years, ratings have risen for the awardscast. 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. 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.

In their lawsuit, HFPA refuted the claim by DCP, “that any unilateral agreement with NBC, even one that involves licensing fees substantially below current market rates, permits DCP to 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.

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