Dick Clark Productions has won judge's favor in a legal fight against the Hollywood Foreign Press Association over the television rights for the Golden Globe Awards show. On Monday, April 30, U.S. District Judge A. Howard Matz declared that the company has a right to negotiate the deal and work on the show as long as it airs on NBC.
"We're extremely pleased by the result," said Martin Katz, one of the attorneys who represented Dick Clark Productions and its owner Red Zone Capital, following to the ruling. "Judge Matz decision is very through and well-thought out and entirely consistent with the evidence." The HFPA attorneys, meanwhile, have not commented on the judge's decision.
The HFPA sued DCP, which has been a longtime producer of the Golden Globes, for striking a $150-million deal with NBC to keep the show on the channel through 2018 without the association's approval. However, DCP argued that a 1993 amendment to its almost 30-year-old agreement with HFPA gave it the right to renegotiate with the network without the association's approval.
In his decision, Matz wrote that the case should never have ended up in a courtroom because the deal is already clear. "What the court is compelled to note here is that there is an overriding feature of the lengthy relationship between DCP and HFPA that helps explain how it came to pass that HFPA granted such sweeping rights to DCP," the judge stated. "That feature is simply this: HFPA suffered from the absence of sound, business-like practices."
Though so, DCP CEO Mark Shapiro could not deny that he used misleading statements while negotiating with NBC. In front of the judge, he admitted that he made the network believe that he had HFPA's blessing to extend the agreement.