A still from ‘South Park’
Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. is suing Paramount Global, saying its competitor aired new episodes of the popular animated comedy series. South Park After payment of exclusive rights to Warner.
Warner says it signed a deal in 2019 that paid more than $500 million for the rights to current and new episodes of the illegal show, according to a lawsuit filed Feb. 26 in New York State Supreme Court. in accordance.
HBO Max, Warner’s streaming platform, was to receive the first episodes of a new one. South Park season in 2020. But the company was told production was halted because of the pandemic, the lawsuit says.
Despite Warner’s exclusive rights to the show until 2025, the company alleged South Park Digital Studios, which produces the shows and is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, offered two pandemic-themed specials to Paramount. , which aired in September 2020 and March 2021.
The lawsuit claims that the original contract should have given Warners an exclusive offer of Pandemic. The move, called a “verbal gimmick” in the lawsuit, led fans of the show to the competing Paramount platform. The lawsuit states that nearly all South Park episodes premiere on Comedy Central, one of Paramount’s cable channels.
Show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who launched the show in 1997 and oversaw the franchise, were not named in the lawsuit.
Acquiring streaming rights South Park It’s a competitive process because the potentially lucrative market attracts more subscribers, advertisers and a loyal fan base that Warner’s lawsuit says is made up mostly of young adults.
The 24-page court filing also cites a $900 million deal between a Paramount subsidiary and South Park Digital Studios for exclusive content on the Paramount Plus streaming service through 2021, which debuted that year.
Warner claims the deal was a deliberate “scheme” between Paramount, its subsidiary MTV Entertainment Studios and South Park Digital Studios to “maximize new South Park content to promote this nascent streaming platform.” More should be diverted to Paramount Plus.”
Warner paid $1,687,500 per episode and alleged that it had not yet received all of the episodes covered by the contract, resulting in a loss of more than $200 million.
Paramount Global did not immediately respond to emails. Associated Press Want to comment on the case.