U.S. District Court Judge A. Howard Matz said the Hollywood Foreign Press Association‘s appeal in the trial over who owns the Golden Globes is going forward (read today’s doc here). But he clearly isn’t happy about it, and he says the process likely will mean upcoming Globes shows will take place under a legal cloud just like the last one. In his order — a procedural ruling that makes way for the HFPA’s appeal against trial winner Dick Clark Productions — Matz as in the past seems frustrated that the dispute between the two parties wasn’t resolved much earlier given the Globes’ value to both, and the case will drag on as a result. Now, “even assuming an immediate appeal … it is unlikely that the parties’ dispute could be resolved before the 2013 or the 2014 Golden Globe Awards Show — which would already be three years into the contested contract period. Delaying … would push back appellate review another one-to-two years, possibly up to (or even beyond) the 2016 Golden Globes”.
The court split the case into two phases to expedite a ruling on who has rights to the awards show. After a bench trial that ended February 10, the court ruled in favor of DCP, which was found to have the right to re-license the lucrative awards show broadcast rights to NBC, which the network now owns until 2018. HFPA lawyers filed an appeal of that ruling in June, saying it couldn’t work with the “devious” DCP. Matz said in documents dated today that he will stay the Phase II portion of the case until the resolution of Phase I. Phase II involves lesser issues like digital and pre-show rights and could be moot depending on the outcome of the current Phase I.
Last month, DCP said it was exploring a possible sale, with Ryan Seacrest and Santa Monica-based investment firm Colony Capital among several bidders interested.