Warner Bros. sues. Paramount on the “South Park” contract

“South Park” creators Matt Stone, left, and Trey Parker discuss the video game “South Park: The Fracture But the Whole” onstage at Ubisoft’s E3 2015 conference at the Orpheum Theater on June 15, 2015, in Los Angeles. (Photo by Chris Pizzello/Invision/AP, file)

The creators of “South Park” backed out of a more than half-billion-dollar deal with HBO and its parent company to sign a more lucrative deal with Paramount to become the streaming service’s flagship show, a lawsuit brought by Warner Bros. In Manhattan you claim.

HBO Max, whose parent company is plaintiff WarnerMedia Direct, says it has offered several competitors a contract with South Park Digital Studios (SPDS) in 2019.

Warner Bros. claims That deal, worth more than $500 million, was announced to great fanfare on Comedy Central’s websitegiving them exclusive streaming rights to the entire library of the series, as well as three new seasons.

Then, the company claims, Paramount hatched a plan to lure the “South Park” franchise to the new streaming service — avoiding the series’ contractual obligations through a “campaign of verbal deception.”

“To achieve this, Defendants used grammatical sleight of hand, describing the new content as ‘movies’, ‘movies’, or ‘events’ for the side step of SPDS’s contractual obligations,” the suit states.

The defendants are Paramount Global, South Park Digital Studios and MTV Entertainment Studios.

By 2021, HBO says, “South Park” has not delivered any of the 22-minute episodes for Season 24 that were promised under the agreement. Paramount announced the launch of its streaming service early that same year.

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Less than six months after Paramount+ launched, an executive discussed a plan to “help feed” the platform through “South Park” and said, “[f]Ranching marquee content is like South Park…in the heart [their] strategy to continue Paramount+’s growth,” according to the lawsuit.

Warner Bros. says: Paramount affiliate MTV has announced a deal with “South Park” creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone on August 21, 2021.

The suit states, “As Stone publicly described it, ‘We have money now.'”

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