Judge expected to rule by mid-week

A U.S. District Court judge is expected to decide by mid-week whether to grant a temporary injunction that would halt the New York-based National Academy of TV Arts and Sciences from handing out Emmys in the broadband world.

Judge Manuel Real postponed a hearing set for tomorrow at the request of NATAS, but is expected to approve or deny the motion by midweek.

Move comes as NATAS filed a response Monday to the L.A.-based Academy of TV Arts and Sciences’ complaint, filed last week, that NATAS is attempting to launch a massive roster of Broadband Emmy awards without proper approval.

In the reply, NATAS said that ATAS dragged its feet before asking for the relief; at that point, NATAS had already put an infrastucture in place for handing out the Emmys. Also, NATAS took issue with ATAS’ decision to file suit, given that ATAS had already called for arbitration on the matter.

NATAS has hired West Coast counsel on the matter, Mitchell Silberberg & Knupp, while ATAS is being represented by Quinn Emanuel Urquhart Oliver & Hedges.

The TV academy battle erupted last week after ATAS argued that NATAS had violated a rule, created when the two sides split in 1977, that neither can start a new Emmy Award without the other’s approval (Daily Variety, March 22). Both sides have been negotiating on how to create a full-fledged Broadband Emmy Awards; in the meantime, NATAS has already begun awarding a handful of broadband nods during the Daytime Emmys.

Also last week, ATAS and NATAS were at odds over NATAS’ decision to pay for only one statuette per category winner this year, meaning that those who share a victory would have to shell out $350 apiece for their own statuettes (Daily Variety, March 25). ATAS responded by sending a letter to its members who are also Daytime Emmy nominees, announcing that it will cover the cost of their statues.

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