By Anthony McCartney, AP Entertainment Writer
LOS ANGELES – The longtime producer of the Golden Globe Awards has asked a federal judge to uphold its broadcast deal with NBC, arguing that it helped restore the show’s reputation after a scandal in the early 1980s.
Dick Clark Productions and the show’s organizers, the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, are locked in a federal lawsuit over who owns broadcast rights to the glitzy awards show, which draws in millions of viewers each year. The HFPA sued the production company last year claiming that it sold the broadcast rights to the show through 2018 without proper permission.
Attorneys for Dick Clark Productions, also known as dcp, however claim they have rights to produce the show as long as it airs on NBC.
They wrote in a filing Monday that the production company spent years restoring the reputation of the show after controversy about whether an award was improperly bestowed knocked the Globes off major networks for a decade. CBS canceled its broadcasts of the show after the HFPA awarded Pia Zadora a best newcomer award allegedly after intense lobbying by her husband.
The filing references the Zadora controversy and claims the HFPA is attempting to cut the producers out of its share of profits now that it “has built the Golden Globe Awards show into a highly lucrative production generating millions of dollars annually for the HFPA.”
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A federal judge will determine who owns the broadcast rights during a trial scheduled to begin in September. The association has said it needs the issue decided with enough time to solicit a new producer and broadcaster if it wins.
“Simply stated, those facts are that dcp licensed NBC seven years of television broadcast rights to the Golden Globe Awards Show that dcp did not have,” HFPA attorney Linda J. Smith wrote in a statement in response to the filing.
She wrote that the only way the production company could have licensed the show to NBC would have been with the association’s permission and that had not been granted. The HFPA has claimed the NBC deal is worth far less than the true value of the broadcast.
After the CBS cancellation, the Golden Globes were taped for several years and eventually returned to a live broadcast on cable network TBS. It has aired on NBC since 1993, which dcp claims is a result of its work and reputation to restore the show’s luster.
This year, 17 million people watched the ceremony according to the Nielsen Co.
The HFPA is comprised of about 90 members and has been repeatedly accused of handing out nominations and awards to court Hollywood stars — claims the association denies.
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