NATAS Loses Appeal on Broadband Emmys

The New York Supreme Court dealt a second blow on Wednesday to the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, denying the academy’s petition to vacate a December ruling against its creation of a new broadband Emmy Awards category. The decision was a victory for the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Hollywood counterpart to NATAS.

New York-based ATAS, which hands out news, documentary and sports Emmys, filed a petition in December to vacate a three-judge American Arbitration Association decision, contending that it violated the 1977 contract that separated the two television academies.

The two parties went into arbitration in part because ATAS, which has jurisdiction over the Primetime Emmy Awards, objected to NATAS’ creation of a new category for content made expressly for broadband. NATAS handed out several broadband Emmys at the Annual News & Documentary Emmy Awards in September.

The December arbitration ruling cast a shadow over the Tech Emmy Awards in January at the Consumer Electronics Show, where the academy handed out provisional “special awards” in the disputed categories.

"If that’s the way the wise men in the black robes feel that we should proceed, we will proceed that way," said Peter Price, executive director of NATAS, in a statement.

Price also said NATAS is pressing the arbitration committee to come to a decision on its desire to mount a Spanish-language-TV Emmy telecast, adding, “I feel that we ought to collaborate more closely. I feel that we ought to do the Spanish-language program together. I would rather collaborate than arbitrate.”