Warner Bros. Lawsuit Targets $900 Million ‘South Park’ Deal

in Entertainment, Television

south park feature

Credit: Comedy Central

Have you ever wondered why Max and Paramount have South Park content to stream? Well, it is because of a lawsuit that has been taking place for many months between the two companies and the adult series’ creators. Though it nearly seemed over, Warner Bros. Discovery is attempting to get a motion to dismiss the case thrown out.

south park
Credit: Comedy Central

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Back in 2019, the AT&T-owned WarnerMedia had struck a massive $500 million deal to stream the past 23 seasons of the series, along with adding 300 additional episodes through to mid-2020. Based on this mega deal, the company would pay around $25 million a year in installments to keep the series on HBO Max.

The deal was moving along as it should have been until last year. Warner Bros. decided to stop paying after another deal; they are dubbing the “f*** you money” deal, which was made with ViacomCBS. The parent company to Paramount paid a staggering $900 to South Park creators Matt Stone and Trey Parker’s South Park Studios to allow the show’s streaming rights to be secured by the newly minted Paramount+ streaming app.

However, Warner Bros. alleges that ViacomCBS found a legal loophole that allowed the series to weasel its way out of the deal that WarnerMedia had already set.

‘South Park’ Streaming Rights at War

south park kids gaming
Credit: Comedy Central

Warner Bros has alleged that Paramount SPDS and MTV Entertainment have figured out a way to allow the full streaming rights of South Park, plus the already produced original movies, to be explicitly retained on the Paramount+ streaming app.

The companies have been trading legal barbs about the show. Per the lawsuit, Warner Bros. Discovery stated:

“The reality is that Defendant South Park Digital Studios agreed that Plaintiff’s HBO Max streaming platform would be the exclusive destination for consumers looking to stream new episodes of the popular comedy series South Park. Defendants came to regret having granted these exclusive streaming rights to Plaintiff when Paramount Global launched its own streaming platform, Paramount+.”

The Paramount+ streaming app did release after HBO Max. It would have made more sense for the series to have ended up at ViacomCBS, as Comedy Central is also a network under the parent company of Viacom. To make matters worse, Paramount stated in 2022 that the company would be the home for all South Park content starting in 2025, which we imagine would naturally have angered WB further.

Back in April, Paramount also filed its own $50 million countersuit against Warner Bros. for not living up to its word in delivering the $25 million per year it had agreed on in 2019. WB is attempting to stop the motion to dismiss the case entirely.

Simply put, Paramount has asked the court to partially dismiss this case, as they claim to be the rightful licensing owners of the South Park series. Warner Bros is also attempting to stop this motion to dismiss, keeping this lawsuit going for the foreseeable future.

One would think that Warner Bros. Discovery CEO David Laslav would find a way to settle this case, as the usual case for his business tactics has revolved around nothing but cost-cutting moves. This lawsuit could end up costing the company more than its worth. WBD could theoretically lose $50 million when all is said and done.

warner bros discovery david zaslav
Credit: Warner Bros Discovery

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The harsh reality of this lawsuit is that it ensures a new season of South Park will not be happening any time soon.

Do you want to see South Park return? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

 

in Entertainment, Television

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