Stan and Kyle from the episode “Clubhouses”.
Getty Images | Hulton Archive | Getty Images
A judge on Tuesday sided with Paramount Global on certain claims after Warner Bros. sued Discovery earlier this year over streaming rights to the long-running animated series “South Park.”
New York State Supreme Court Justice Margaret Chan said Paramount did not violate the state’s consumer protection laws after its streaming platform Paramount+ hosted “South Park” specials. The decision follows a lawsuit in February in which Warner alleged that Paramount fraudulently withheld the specials and other “South Park” content to bolster the Paramount+ offering.
Representatives for the companies did not immediately respond to requests for comment.
Warner paid $500 million to Paramount in 2019 for the rights to the 20-plus season back catalog of “South Park” episodes to stream on HBO Max, now known as Max. At the time, Paramount proposed splitting the rights between the company’s individual streaming platforms, which Warner rejected. The series is a staple on Paramount’s Comedy Central channel.
Paramount would later release South Park: Post Covid in 2021 and South Park: The Streaming Wars in 2022 exclusively on Paramount+. The publications triggered the lawsuit in which Warner is demanding hundreds of millions of dollars. Warner also claimed that Paramount was responsible for overpaying under the agreement.
Paramount filed a countersuit in April, seeking $50 million in unpaid fees from Warner and denying allegations that the company breached the agreement. The counterclaim was later dismissed by Chan in October, ruling that Paramount had not made any misrepresentations in the description of the specials in the original 2019 agreement.
Warner also alleged in its lawsuit that Paramount’s conduct misled customers and caused confusion about which streaming platform had rights to the animated series.
Chan dismissed that claim from Warner on Tuesday, saying the claim was merely a “private contract dispute” and “did not cause harm to consumers.” Chan added that the complaint or materials offered by Warner did not prove “deceptive practices” by Paramount.
Warner’s claims for breach of contract, tortious interference and unjust enrichment remain.
Chan ordered a preliminary conference between the two parties on December 13.
Source : www.cnbc.com