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The trial to determine who controls the TV rights to the Golden Globe Awards is now scheduled to start January 24, a little more than a week after the awards are held.
The decision on the trial date was determined in a status conference Wednesday with federal Judge Howard A. Matz and lawyers for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, which puts on the awards, and Dick Clark Productions, its longtime producer of the popular awards show.
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The HFPA has said it wants an early trial date but not one that falls between February and July, when its lead attorney Daniel Petrocelli might be unavailable.
DCP has argued for a March trial date, saying that an early date might interfere with the show and diminish the awards.
The Golden Globes take place Sunday Jan. 15, so the judge has managed to choose a date that is early but does not interfere with the telecast.
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The trial had been scheduled to start this past September but the judge in the case became ill and had to withdraw. She was replaced by Matz, who recently asked both sides to provide him with a status report on the case, including a list of witnesses they want to call. With that in hand, the judge made his call on the date.
The case involves a claim by DCP that it holds the right to produce the Globes as long as the show stays on the NBC network in the U.S. The HFPA says that is a misinterpretation of earlier contracts, and that it wants to put the rights to the telecast up for auction to the highest bidder.
DCP made a deal with NBC to continue the telecast through 2018 without the permission of the HFPA.
The telecast is scheduled to air on NBC this January based on a one-year deal made to keep the franchise going while the case is litigated.
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