Warner Bros. Discovery sues Paramount over ‘South Park’ exclusive rights – National

Warner Bros. Discovery sued Paramount Global, saying the competitor aired new episodes of the popular animated comedy series “South Park” after Warner paid for the exclusive rights.

Warner signed a deal to pay more than $500 million for the rights to existing and new episodes of the irreverent show in 2019, according to a lawsuit filed Friday in New York State Supreme Court.

Warner’s streaming platform, HBO Max, was set to receive the first episode of the new South Park season in 2020.

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Despite Warner’s exclusive rights to the show through 2025, the company said South Park Digital Studios, which produced the show and is named as a defendant in the lawsuit, sent Paramount two pandemics that aired in September 2020. claims to offer specials themed on March 2021.

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The lawsuit alleges that the pandemic special should have been offered to Warner under the original contract. rice field. Nearly every episode of South Park will premiere on Comedy Central, one of Paramount’s cable channels, according to the lawsuit.

Show creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker, who launched the show in 1997 and oversaw the franchise, were not named in the lawsuit.

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Acquiring streaming rights to “South Park” is a potentially lucrative market to attract more subscribers, advertisers, and a loyal fan base composed primarily of young adults in Warner’s lawsuit. , is a highly competitive process.

The 24-page court filing covers a $900 million deal between a Paramount subsidiary and Southpark Digital Studios in 2021 for exclusive content on the Paramount Plus streaming service, which began in the same year. also mentions

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Warner said the deal was a deliberate “plan” between Paramount, its subsidiary MTV Entertainment Studios, and South Park Digital Studios “to boost its nascent streaming platform, South Park’s new It claims to be “to divert as much content as possible to Paramount Plus.”

Warner paid $1,687,500 per episode and claimed to have not yet received all episodes covered by the contract, resulting in more than $200 million in damages.

Paramount Global did not immediately respond to an email from AP seeking comment on the lawsuit.

© 2023 The Canadian Press

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