Freelance journalist Dominic Patten is covering the trial for Deadline.
Judge A. Howard Matz this morning accepted a recommendation from lawyers on both sides that means CBS Corp chief Les Moonves will not have to testify in person in the ongoing Golden Globes TV rights trial. Instead, the court will hear testimony from Moonves’ August 2011 taped deposition in the case, which was brought by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association against Dick Clark Prods over who controls rights to the HFPA-run Golden Globe Awards telecast. The ruling means the court will see a videotape of Moonves’ deposition either later today or tomorrow, depending on how quickly HFPA lawyers can churn through their witness list. A deal, which was expected, was hammered out over the weekend by both parties, who prepared the recommendation to Matz arguing that anything Moonves would say live he already said in the deposition. Moonves’ testimony is of interest to the HFPA to determine whether CBS was interested in bidding against current rightsholder NBC for rights to air the awards show.
Speed seems to be the operative word now in the Downtown LA courtroom. Originally, the trial was thought to need five days, but now the parties want to have things wrapped up by early next week. The HFPA wants to complete the plaintiff’s arguments by the end of day Wednesday. Former HFPA president Philip Berk will be the latest high-profile witness to take the stand, which could happen later today.
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