‘South Park’ Is Forcing Warner Bros. and Paramount Into War

in Movies & TV, Television

south park feature

Credit: Comedy Central

South Park has been in an odd space lately, as the long-running animated series is featured on both the Paramount+ and HBO Max platforms. Though the entire show catalog can be streamed on HBO Max, Paramount currently has five original movies, including the recently released 25th Anniversary Concert.

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Credit: Comedy Central

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Those same movies cannot be streamed on HBO Max, which could be why this war is happening between Warner Bros and Paramount. We would assume that both media companies want to be the only place where South Park can be streamed, but that is not the case currently.

In 2019, WarnerMedia secured a more than $500 million deal that guaranteed South Park would be available to stream on HBO Max. However, things have become rather messy since Paramount+ also struck up a ridiculous $900 million deal two years ago.

In February of 2023, WarnerMedia started a $200 million suit against Paramount for streaming rights to the series. South Park Studios has entered the lawsuit territory, as they are filing a countersuit for breach of contract against WarnerMedia. South Park Studios now claims they are owed over $52 million for licensing fees not paid for the series and withholding $225 million that is owed through the five years struck in the initial 2019 deal.

Though this might sound a bit confusing, the gist is that WarnerMedia entered into an agreement with Matt Stone and Trey Parker for the entire catalog of South Park, including new seasons and movies. However, how long those recent seasons would be was not explicitly stated.

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Credit: Warner Bros. Discovery, Inside the Magic

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WarnerMedia is stating that the contract set in place is full of “trickery” that has allowed the South Park creators to have signed that massive $900 million deal with ViacomCBS.

According to a spokesperson for Paramount Global, “Warner Bros. Discovery has indefensibly refused to pay more than $50 million it owes for South Park content that it has undisputedly received, and which HBO Max continues to air and exploit.”

We are not sure who is in the right or wrong here, but South Park is a massive series that any streaming company would undoubtedly want under its banner. Even more so because WarnerMedia is relaunching HBO Max as MAX this year, and the streaming company likely wants to keep the rights to one of the longest-running shows.

South Park has been a staple of Comedy Central since it was released in 1997. The series has produced a staggering 26 seasons, five movies, and nine video games. The property is a proverbial gold mine that has no end in sight, so we understand that any company will want to keep the IP around as long as possible.

south park
Credit: Comedy Central

It will be interesting to see what happens between this lawsuit and WarnerMedia and ViacomCBS’s countersuit. Now that South Park Studios is further involved, it could put a damper on additional seasons. As fans, we understand that having to stream the series on two different platforms is confusing and annoying, so we hope there is some sort of winner that can be the true home of the satirical sitcom.

Do you want South Park on one platform? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

in Movies & TV, Television

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