Warner Bros. Discovery filed a lawsuit towards Paramount Friday, claiming the rival media corporate breached its half-billion-dollar exclusivity contract with HBO Max by way of airing “South Park” by itself streaming platform, Paramount+.
HBO Max is a unit of Warner Bros. Discovery, which additionally owns CNN.
Nearly all “South Park” episodes air first on Paramount-owned Comedy Central. In 2019, Paramount and “South Park’s” creators in combination auctioned off streaming rights to the display’s first 23 seasons plus 3 new 10-episode seasons to HBO Max.
Prior to Discovery’s 2022 merger with Warner Bros., WarnerMedia, then owned by way of AT&T, agreed to pay just about $1.7 million for unique streaming rights for each and every “South Park” episode, the swimsuit alleges. The first episodes of “South Park” season 24 have been to be delivered in March 2020. Then got here the pandemic, and WarnerMedia used to be advised that the brand new manufacturing of “South Park” can be halted, in line with the criticism.
In March 2021, Paramount introduced Paramount+, and Warner Bros. Discovery claims Paramount, MTV and South Park Digital Studios in combination “planned to divert as much of the new “South Park” content material as conceivable to Paramount+ so as to spice up that nascent streaming platform.”
The corporate additionally stated it used to be promised 30 new episodes over 3 seasons, however has best gained 14 episodes so far.
“We believe that Paramount and South Park Digital Studios embarked on a multi-year scheme of unfair trade practices and deception, flagrantly and repeatedly breaching our contract, which clearly gave HBO Max exclusive streaming rights to the existing library and new content from the popular animated comedy South Park,” HBO Max stated in a observation.
Paramount says those claims are “without merit.”
Paramount “continues to adhere to the parties’ contract by delivering new South Park episodes to HBO Max, despite the fact that Warner Bros. Discovery has failed and refused to pay license fees that it owes to Paramount for episodes that have already been delivered, and which HBO Max continues to stream,” a Paramount Global spokesperson stated.
The lawsuit, filed within the New York State Supreme Court, additionally claims a separate $900 million deal between MTV, a subsidiary of Paramount, and South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, broke the phrases of the contract in August 2021. This deal integrated 14 “made-for-streaming” “South Park” films that may premiere on Paramount+.
Warner Bros. Discovery claims the defendants used language like “movies,” “films,” and “events” to sidestep their contractual duties.
“As Stone publicly described it, “we have f—k you money now,” the swimsuit claims he stated, in regards to the maintain MTV.