Saturday, April 7, 2012

Gore/Olberman Trial: Huge Payday for Cable TV

Two progressive goofballs will square off in court
Los Angeles, Apr 7, 2012.  The pending lawsuits and counter suits between Keith Olbermann and Al Gore are shaping up to be a ratings bonanza for cable television broadcasters that could eventually dwarf the revenues they earned from the OJ Simpson trial in 1995.

Current TV on Friday counter-sued former host Keith Olbermann, claiming he failed to perform his duties for the progressive television network and saying it does not owe him "a dime" of the millions Olbermann claims he is owed.

Current claims that Olbermann "had failed to infiltrate the OWS movement, as he had promised he would."  The network was hoping for an insider view of the whacky protest group that could boost their ratings.

Both Current and Olbermann, who hosted his program "Countdown" on the network, have been locked in a war of words and legal filings since last week, when Current fired the commentator claiming he had breached his contract.

Current even alleges that Olbermann actually refused to ride on Current's float that the San Francisco Gay Parade unless he was paid extra to do so. "We paid him hansomly to represent us at all important progressive functions, and now he wanted more money just to do his job," Al Gore told us.

The liberal firebrand sued the network on Thursday seeking as much as $70 million he says he is owed for compensation and an equity stake he was given in the fledgling network.

Janet Reno
A bidding war has broken out between tru-TV (formerly Court-TV), CNBC, and CNN's own HLN station for the broadcasting rights. The bidding could escalate into the hundreds of millions based on the huge ratings potential some experts are forecasting for these trials.

CNBC projects that if they can secure the rights to broadcast the trial, their ratings could climb into "the hundreds, if not thousands of viewers."

Both Gore and Olbermann are colorful and entertaining leftwing ideologues who could provide a strong ratings boost for any cable station that secures the broadcast rights.

 "The broadcast rights to these trials could make or break a cable station," one cable executive told us on the condition of anonymity. 
Alan Dershowitz
Celebrity attorneys are already being planned by both sides. Former VP Al Gore has secured high powered legal expert former U.S. Attorney General Janet Reno to represent him. "I'm hoping that Reno can really shake things up for our side," Mr. Gore told us.

Keith Olbermann has retained constitutional scholar and expert Alan Dershowitz to head his legal team. The Olbermann legal team will be calling both Ed Schultz and Rachel Madcow as character wittnesses for the beleagured and often fired Keith Olbermann.

In a bizarre twist, Olbermann's legal team is planning to call Gore's former wife Tipper to the stand as a character wittness against Gore. Former President Bill Clinton has also hinted that he "will be available to testify for either side, if the price is right."

Available for right price
Current TV says that they are no longer obligated to pay a dime to Mr. Olbermann who, having already been paid handsomely for showing up sporadically and utterly failing to keep his end of the bargain.

Among the key allegations Current cites is that Olbermann took unauthorized vacation time - the network said he worked only 19 of 41 business days in January and February - and refused to work on Current's U.S. presidential caucus and primary election coverage as he was asked to do.

Current claims it first notified Olbermann he was in breach of contract back in October of 2011, but problems persisted.
Olbermann was appointed chief news officer at Current, took an equity stake in the channel that was originally launched in 2005, and became its biggest celebrity draw. But his nightly show attracted only an average 177,000 viewers - a fraction of the audience who watched him previously on MSNBC.

Judge Andrew Napolitano
FoxNews is planning to launch a special new show devoted to doing in depth analysis of these trials hosted by former Judge Andrew Napolitano and legal expert Greta Van Susteren called "Clash of the Progressive Titans."

No matter who wins the broadcast rights, Keith Olbermann is demanding a "7.5% royalty share" for the use of his "name, testimony, and images." 

This could evolve into a separate lawsuit between Olbermann and the eventual winner of the bidding war.

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