With the two sides hopelessly deadlocked, a federal judge now must determine who controls the lucrative television rights to the Golden Globes Awards show.
Before a packed courtroom in downtown Los Angeles, lawyers representing the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., which owns the Golden Globes, and Dick Clark Productions, which has produced the annual extravaganza for nearly 30 years, wrapped up their three-week trial with closing arguments Friday.
U.S. District Court Judge A. Howard Matz had urged the sides to try to settle the case before Friday's finale -- but the parties remained at loggerheads.
At issue is the validity of a 2010 agreement that Dick Clark Productions struck with NBC that would keep the Golden Globes on the network through 2018 -- a deal worth as much as $150 million.
But soon after that pact was announced, the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. cried foul. The group sued Dick Clark Productions, contending that the production firm lacked the authority to enter into a new TV contract without its consent.
Dick Clark Productions, meanwhile, maintains that a pivotal section of a 1993 contract gave the firm latitude to renew its TV licensing agreement as long as NBC remained the television broadcast partner. Dick Clark Productions was acquired in 2007 by Red Zone Capital Management Co., a private equity firm controlled by Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.
Matz must now interpret the 1993 agreement. If he sides with the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn., the organization could shop the deal to other networks and launch a bidding war.
His decision is not expected for several weeks.
"It's going to take some time before I can get back to this," Matz said immediately after declaring the end of the trial. Then he complimented the legal teams, saying: "This case has been handled very professionally and I am grateful for that."