You have to wonder what NBC Universal’s new owner, Comcast, think about the $6 million NBC pay for the TV rights to the Golden Globes. Will the new owners think it’s worth it, especially after the Conan O’Brien debacle?
Every year, NBC pays the Hollywood Foreign Press Assn. — 80 people whom no one’s ever heard of — $6 million to license the Golden Globes show. The HFPA controls everything — who sits where, who attends and, of course, who wins.
This year, however, the HFPA isn’t delivering its biggest “gets” of recent years, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, even though the couple has been used in ads on NBC for the event.
Comcast will be looking closely at the arrangement. For one thing, a study of the HFPA’s most recent tax filing shows that the group has benefited financially very nicely from NBC’s largesse. The HFPA claims a whopping $15.8 million now in total assets.
The group gave away $1.3 million in donations to film groups in 2008. On the other hand, their expenses for 2008 came to $3.6 million, including just over $722,000 in travel. This is especially noteworthy since the members of the HFPA are flown all over the place by the studios and treated like visiting royalty. They also claim a $95,000 expense for “meetings and press conferences.” The HFPA is famous for their special press conferences with movie casts and directors at which they get their pictures taken with stars.
Other expenses listed include the usual mystifying $55,000 for “online research”, $56,000 for unspecified “outside services” and $50,000 for “entertainment.”
Meanwhile, as usual, the HFPA’s leaders, party animals Phil Berk (in reality, a schoolteacher and bridge player’from the Valley) and his sidekick Munawar Hosain made the scene at yesterday’s BAFTA tea at the Beverly Hilton. Berk was in deep conversations with “Hurt Locker” writer Mark Boal, while he and Hosain stuck close to the buffet table.