ATAS Wins Jurisdiction Case

Mar 5, 2008  •  Post A Comment

Drama and comedy belong to the ATAS, according to the New York Supreme Court. The court on Wednesday denied the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences’ petition to reinstate the academy’s new-media Emmy plans, which were ended in December by an arbitration panel.
“The New York Supreme Court has dealt NATAS a devastating blow in its effort to overturn last December’s ruling from an arbitration panel vindicating ATAS’ ongoing jurisdiction over all categories of Primetime Emmys, including for shows available over broadband and other new media,” said ATAS attorney George R. Hedges.
“NATAS must now immediately get into compliance with the arbitration panel’s decision or face potential contempt proceedings,” Mr. Hedges added. “ATAS will now proceed to obtain an order from the panel awarding it the attorneys’ fees it has been forced to expend as a result of NATAS’ actions.”
The case stems from NATAS’ decision in 2005 to award new-media Emmys for broadband series that included drama and comedy awards, two broadcast categories that fell into ATAS’ “Primetime Emmys” arena. ATAS protested and filed a motion with the American Arbitration Awards to settle the conflict. The three-judge panel ultimately agreed by a 2-1 decision that ATAS had the rightful claim to the categories despite the outlet or time of day when the program originally aired.
The arbitrators decided that 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.
NATAS quickly challenged the decision in court, appealing the ruling. That appeal has now been dismissed by the New York Supreme Court.
“We are gratified that the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences is unanimously victorious in a very fair and accurate arbitration, and that we can continue our vision to preserve the Emmy brand,” ATAS executives said in a statement Wednesday.
Attempts to reach a representative for NATAS were unsuccessful.

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