‘South Park’ Streaming Brawl: Warner Bros Discovery Fights To Keep Alive Suit Against Paramount Global & Series Creators

‘South Park’ Streaming Brawl: Warner Bros Discovery Fights To Keep Alive Suit Against Paramount Global & Series Creators

In the match of legal dodgeball that the David Zaslav and Shari Redstone-run conglomerates have been hurling at each other the past few months, WBD are now moving to have Paramount’s partial motion to dismiss tossed out.

Warner Bros Discovery Opposes Paramount’s Motion to Dismiss

Warner Bros Discovery (WBD) is fighting to keep alive its $200 million lawsuit against Paramount Global and the creators of the television series South Park. In the ongoing legal battle, WBD is now moving to have Paramount’s partial motion to dismiss thrown out.

The lawsuit revolves around a dispute over streaming rights and an alleged violation of an agreement between WBD, Paramount, and South Park Digital Studios.

The Alleged Violation of Exclusive Streaming Rights

According to WBD’s memorandum of opposition, the defendants’ motion to dismiss downplays the misconduct that forced WBD to file the lawsuit while simultaneously highlighting it. WBD argues that South Park Digital Studios agreed that WBD’s HBO Max streaming platform would be the exclusive destination for consumers looking to stream new episodes of South Park.

However, WBD claims that Paramount and South Park Digital Studios regretted granting exclusive streaming rights to HBO Max after Paramount+ was launched, Paramount’s own streaming platform. WBD accuses Paramount of violating the agreement and diverting new South Park episodes to Paramount+.

A Dispute Over a 2019 Streaming Rights Deal

The initial lawsuit stems from a $500 million deal in 2019, where WarnerMedia, then owned by AT&T, acquired multi-year domestic streaming rights to past seasons of South Park and several new seasons. The deal involved adding around 300 episodes of the Comedy Central show to WarnerMedia’s inventory for mid-2020. The agreement stated that WarnerMedia would pay Viacom, the studio behind South Park, in installments of approximately $25 million per quarter.

However, the dispute arose when ViacomCBS, the parent company of Paramount, made a $900 million deal with South Park Digital Studios in August 2021. This deal allegedly allowed Paramount to retain new seasons of South Park and produce more than a dozen “original movies” based on the series, which contradicted the terms of the 2019 agreement with WarnerMedia.

Paramount’s Counterclaims and Deceptive Acts

In response, WBD accuses Paramount of engaging in deceptive acts to lure viewers to watch South Park on Paramount+ instead of HBO Max. WBD claims that Paramount’s actions constitute bad faith business conduct with an adverse impact on consumers.

The opposition filing by WBD’s attorneys argues that the claims are based on well-pled factual allegations that go beyond the minimal requirements to withstand a motion to dismiss. WBD asserts that Paramount’s motion is groundless and should be denied entirely.

Continued Legal Battle and Counterclaims

WBD’s opposition to Paramount’s motion seeks an oral argument hearing to determine whether the motion can proceed or not. The legal battle between the two conglomerates shows no signs of abating, with both parties filing additional claims and counterclaims.

Paramount has also countersued WBD for more than $50 million, adding further complexity to the already contentious dispute.

Conclusion

The legal battle between Warner Bros Discovery and Paramount Global, along with South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, continues as WBD fights to keep its $200 million lawsuit alive. The dispute revolves around alleged violations of an agreement regarding exclusive streaming rights for South Park. Both parties are determined to have their claims heard, and the case remains ongoing.