Globes gelt grows

HFPA proceeds from 2003 show rise 68%

The Golden Globes have become increasingly golden for the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn.: Org netted 68% more from the 2003 Golden Globe show than from the previous year’s kudocast.

Last January, the Globes netted the nonprofit org $3,621,153, up from the $2,145,032 the show funneled into the HFPA’s coffers in 2002.

Neither the HFPA nor the show’s producer, Dick Clark Prods., would comment on the reason for the pay hike.

In July 2001, NBC signed a new 10-year-pact with the HFPA and Dick Clark Prods. (Unlike the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, the HFPA does not produce its own awards show.)

Details of the agreement between the HFPA and Dick Clark are not available, but published accounts and HFPA members have said the two split what NBC pays after deducting the telecast’s expenses.

That pact was expected to commence with the 2002 telecast. But the HFPA actually netted $300,000 less that year than in 2001. This could be due to hugely increased security costs after 9/11, or because the financial increases in the new pact may not have kicked in until 2003.

In December 2002, the Washington Post reported that an HFPA lawyer had sent a letter to Dick Clark Prods. stating its intention to seek more money from NBC. (NBC negotiated with Dick Clark Prods. for rights to the show.)

This was 17 months after the new 10-year pact was signed. Org was said to be peeved that under a new contract, the Emmys — a kudocast with lower ratings — was earning a higher license fee.

The Post also said Clark’s lawyer, Bert Fields, sent a letter to the HFPA threatening to sue “if the group broke its contract with NBC.”

A few days after the Post story ran, HFPA spokesman Steve LoCascio told Daily Variety: “The Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. did not threaten to renegotiate with NBC. We are operating under the same 10-year contract; there has been no change.”

According to network insiders, the pact has not been renegotiated since the 10-year deal in 2001. And although the license fee did increase for 2003, that alone would not have accounted for the huge jump in the HFPA’s net telecast intake.

Good deal

There would seem to be little question that NBC got quite a bargain when it signed the Globes away from TBS in 1996.

As an example, in 2001 ABC paid $46 million for the Academy Awards. The show had a 26.2 rating. That year the HFPA netted roughly $2.5 million for the Globecast; Dick Clark Prods. would earn about the same amount. Estimates on the telecast’s cost are $3 million-$4 million. So a ballpark figure would put NBC’s total tab at $9 million for a show with a 9.9 rating.

In comparison, ABC paid 5½ times as much for the Oscarcast, which saw only 2½ times the ratings of the Globe show.

A large percentage of the HFPA’s net income goes to charity: In 2003, the org gave away $501,950.

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