Arbitrators Rule Against NATAS’ Broadband Emmy Plans

Dec 11, 2007  •  Post A Comment

A ruling by arbitrators put the brakes on the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ new-media Emmy plans.
The ruling stems from NATAS’ plan to award Emmys for broadband content in the categories of comedy, drama, children’s animation and variety, which riled the feathers of the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, who filed suit over the matter earlier in the year.
An injunction was placed on NATAS that barred it from awarding Emmys in genres that would step on the toes of ATAS, which oversees the Primetime Emmy Awards. ATAS controls Emmy Awards for the genres of drama, comedy, children’s animation and variety shows.
Also halted was NATAS’ “MySpace/My Emmy” contest. The contest was soliciting user-generated content for Emmy nominations.
“This is a resounding victory for our Television Academy and duly establishes that NATAS’ misguided actions were clearly inappropriate. The ruling is a confirmation that NATAS was in violation of our existing agreement and must cease and desist on any future violations of any unauthorized usage of the prestigious Emmy Award and brand without our approval,” said Dick Askin, chairman and CEO of ATAS.
NATAS did not immediately return phone calls or e-mails seeking comment.
According to the findings, both sides can continue to issue Emmys for broadband material, even broadband-only material such as Marshall Herskovitz and Ed Zwick’s “Quarterlife,” as long as it falls within each academy’s respective genres. But awards can not be given based solely on nontelevised platforms, such as iPods or cell phones.
The arbitrators ruled on several other matters between the two sides, deciding that NATAS was not damaged by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ 2007 Cannes ceremony. The NATAS has 21 days to respond to the ATAS’ request for a 2008 Cannes ceremony.
NATAS also was denied an injunction on ATAS’ nonfiction awards, and the arbitrators ruled that ATAS was acting reasonably when it withheld its consent from NATAS for a Spanish-language Emmy contest.


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