Warner Bros. Discovery sues Paramount for broadcast rights to ‘South Park’

Stan Marsh, Kyle Broflovski, Eric Cartman and Kenny McCormick attend The Paley Heart for Media presents a particular retrospective occasion honoring 20 seasons of ‘South Park’ at The Paley Heart for Media on September 1, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California.

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Discovery of Warner Bros. for follow-up World Paramount searching for to implement broadcast rights to “South Park”, setting the stage for a authorized battle between two media giants as broadcast wars escalate.

On Friday, Warner Bros. Discovery has filed a lawsuit in opposition to Paramount, South Park Digital Studios and MTV Leisure searching for lots of of tens of millions of {dollars} for what it believes is a breach of contract.

Warner stated it agreed in 2019 to pay greater than $500 million, or about $1.69 million per episode, to license “South Park,” the long-running cartoon starring faculty children from elementary to bad-mouthed that has aired on Paramount’s Comedy Central cable tv community for many years, for its personal HBO Max streaming platform.

In the course of the bidding course of for the rights to “South Park,” based on the submitting, Paramount requested if Warner Bros. Discovery is reportedly contemplating splitting the rights to the present for Paramount’s personal streaming service.

“Warner/HBO rejected the proposal as a ‘non-starter,’” based on the lawsuit.

Nevertheless, Warner alleged in its lawsuit that Paramount reneged on its contract and withheld the “South Park” specials and different associated content material. The lawsuit factors to Paramount’s fledgling streaming service, Paramount+, as the rationale.

A Paramount spokesperson denied Warner’s claims in Friday’s lawsuit, including that Warner had stopped paying licensing charges.

“We consider these allegations are with out benefit and we sit up for proving it via the authorized course of,” a Paramount spokesperson stated in a press release. “We additionally notice that Paramount continues to honor the events’ contract by delivering new episodes of South Park to HBO Max, even if Warner Bros. Discovery has failed and refused to pay the licensing charges it owes Paramount. for episodes which have already been delivered, and that HBO Max continues to air.”

Though the deal known as for HBO Max to obtain the primary episodes of the ultimate season of “South Park” in 2020, Paramount stated it knowledgeable Warner in March that it could halt manufacturing on the season as a result of pandemic.

Warner then claims that “South Park” and its creators have moved ahead with producing different forms of content material, comparable to two pandemic-themed specials airing between September 2020 and March 2021.

Warner additional alleges the scheme was underway when Paramount affiliate MTV signed a take care of the creators of ‘South Park’ in 2021, which known as for unique content material for Paramount+, value $900 million. of {dollars}.

“We consider that Paramount and South Park Digital Studios have launched into a multi-year program of unfair enterprise practices and deception, flagrantly and repeatedly violating our contract, which clearly gave HBO Max unique streaming rights to the library. current and new content material from the favored animated comedy. South Park“, a spokesperson for Warner Bros. Discovery stated in a press release on Friday.

The showdown comes because the streaming companies vie for subscribers and search to realize profitability within the close to future. Media firms have spent billions of {dollars} on content material to draw prospects and have lately begun to chop prices as elevated competitors has led to slower subscriber development.

This week Warner Bros Discovery reported a giant loss in its quarterly outcomes as the corporate faces a declining promoting market, which has weighed on its income. The corporate, nonetheless, stated it added 1.1 million international streaming subscribers, bringing its whole to 96.1 million for companies comparable to HBO Max and Discovery+. Losses from the streaming enterprise additionally narrowed to $217 million for the interval, “a $511 million year-over-year enchancment.”

Warner Bros. Discovery plans to launch a mixed HBO Max and Discovery+ streaming service this spring.

In the meantime, Paramount stated final week that Paramount+ hit 56 million subscribers in its most up-to-date quarter. The corporate plans to lift the worth from his streaming service when he combines Paramount+ and Showtime Later this 12 months. Paramount additionally stated she was affected by the robust promoting market.