LOS ANGELES, Feb 22 (Reuters) - Bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co is having its named yanked from Sunday’s telecast of the Oscars, the president of the group that gives out the awards said on Wednesday.
“It will be live from the Hollywood and Highland Center in Hollywood, California. That’s what the landlord has asked us to do and we’re going to do it,” said Tom Sherak, president of the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences, in an interview with a Los Angeles television station.
The announcement comes after much speculation as to whether the once-dominant film manufacturing and photography company would keep its name on the Oscar theater after filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization earlier this year.
Kodak signed a $74 million deal in 2000 for naming rights the 3,400-seat theater in Hollywood that is home to the Academy Awards and also houses a production of Cirque du Soleil.
The Oscar deal was an enormous marketing opportunity for Kodak’s brand because the Academy Awards annually is the second most-watched event on TV behind football’s Super Bowl. Last year’s telecast was viewed by 37.6 million people.
But under bankruptcy law, the company was able to reject the remainder of its 20-year commitment, and sought to have its name removed from the theater immediately. The building’s owner, CIM Group, objected initially, saying it was unfair for Kodak to remove its sign before the Oscars.
The CIM Group declined to comment Wednesday on the Academy’s decision to not include the Kodak name in this year’s awards. (Reporting By Piya Sinha-Roy; Editing by Bob Tourtellotte)