GFW President Ed Nordholm was interviewed by Sports Illustrated and discussed the ongoing feud between the company and the Hardys over the fight to the 'Broken' gimmick. Here are some highlights:
SI: Generally, the producer of a show owns the content; for example, the person who invests in the show owns the characters. The Hardys have stated that they spent thousands of dollars to buy and create shots for the tapings from their compound in North Carolina. Does the fact that the Hardys invested money into the company and the characters (for example, the $3,000 volcano purchased by Jeff Hardy for the “Apocalypto” episode) change the dynamic of ownership in the case of the Hardys v. Anthem?
Ed: “No. The company spent millions of dollars producing television last year, including all of the shows that incorporate the various aspects of the ‘Broken Brilliance.’ I don’t know whether Jeff and Matt had some out-of-pocket expenses that they might have had on the volcano and the like, but that would not change, in any way, shape, or form, what their contracts say about who owns the IP. If they had some out-of-pocket expenses, they certainly never brought them to my attention. To suggest that they somehow funded the show is absurd.”
SI: Sports Illustrated reported that both the Hardys and Anthem were close to an agreement that would have sold the “Broken Universe” intellectual property for somewhere between $10-15,000, but it fell apart when Anthem reportedly increased its financial demands from the Hardys. Sources have reported that the plan from Anthem and Jeff Jarrett was to purposely draw out the process. Was there ever a deal in place, and, if so, what prevented it from completion?
Ed: “What prevented it from completion is that we’ve never come to terms. I have made numerous efforts, going back to February and the time of the cease and desist letter [to Ring of Honor for advertising the ‘Broken’ Hardys for their 15th Anniversary pay per view] to make an arrangement with Matt Hardy to use the gimmick. Every time we have those conversations, they sort of start warm then end up not coming to fruition due to an inability to come to an agreement as to what basis I would confer those rates on him.”
SI: Will you ever sell the intellectual property? Also, will you want a bigger sum of money if the creation is used on WWE television?
Ed: “I’ve stopped thinking about this. We have a show to put on, and a company and a brand. We’ve got things on our plate that are more important than sorting out the “Broken Brilliance.” I made a genuine effort to resolve something to benefit the Hardys as a goodwill gesture to Matt. It didn’t reach a conclusion and we’re moving on. We’re not going back to it, I’m not interested in opening a new dialogue, I’m not interested in opening another conversation about it. We made our best effort, it didn’t happen, and I’m not going to negotiate all over again.”