As expected, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association tonight filed a motion seeking an immediate appeal in the Golden Globes case. The motion (Read it here) derives from April 30 when the HFPA lost to Dick Clark Productions over who owns the TV rights to the annual award show. After a two-week trial, that concluded on February 10, Judge Howard Matz agreed with dcp’s lawyers that a 1993 perpetuity amendment between the HFPA and dcp gave the Red Zone Capitol-owned company the right to make a $150 million 2010 deal with NBC that will keep the Golden Globes on the network until 2018. Today’s appeal took aim at the notion that there could be a conducive relationship between the two parties after the rancor of the trial and 2010 NBC deal that lead to it. “There is no assurance that HFPA’s members will be able to cooperate with dcp on future Golden Globe Awards Shows, given dcp’s deceitful and devious conduct towards its supposed ‘partner,’” HFPA lawyers said in the motion. The appeal motion also made direct reference to dcp’s announcement yesterday that it was hiring the Raine Group investment bank to entertain potential purchase offers. “Even assuming a sale were permitted under the operative agreements, HFPA would be forced to cooperate, possibly forever, with some unknown company with whom HFPA never dreamed of being ‘partners.’” The Globes have been on NBC since 1996. Dick Clark Productions was retained by the HFPA in 1983 to produce the show and to help get it back on a main network.
The HFPA are also seeking in the motion filed tonight to have resolution of the case’s so-called Phase II issues, including Golden Globe digital rights, pre-show rights, social media use and dcp’s accounting methods, stayed while their fast tracked Phase I appeal goes ahead.
Today’s move by the HFPA’s lawyer, lead by Daniel Petrocelli, comes as no surprise as they had said in court filed documents on May 15 that they intended to seek such an appeal in the case. All of which means expect the 2013 Golden Globes to take place in shotgun wedding circumstances and under a legal cloud just like this year’s ceremony did.