According to Varietystreaming platform HBO Max has argued in a new lawsuit that Paramount Global, through its streaming platform Paramount+, violated a contract that gave the former exclusive streaming rights to ‘South Park’.
“Defendants performed a simple and obvious artifice of mischaracterizing the content to avoid obligations of the contract,” the lawsuit said.
HBO Max is owned by Warner Bros. Discovery.
The lawsuit was filed in New York on Friday. The complaint says HBO Max obtained exclusive rights to stream new episodes of “South Park” and its old “library” of past episodes after an “extremely competitive” bidding process.
But in violation of that contract, the lawsuit alleges, Paramount+ made a deal with the show’s creators for spin-off movies and other spin-off media with MTV in an “unauthorized scheme.” The latter streamer also said that he paid for a certain number of episodes and did not receive them.
“South Park” airs on Comedy Central (owned by Paramount) and is one of the longest-running TV shows ever, as Bloomberg noted. It follows the adventures of a group of four boys who jokingly run around the Colorado town of the same name.
HBO claims it paid “more than half a billion dollars” for the rights to stream it exclusively.
Exclusivity was so important to Warner/HBO that when SPDS asked Warner/HBO if it would consider sharing the rights to South Park with CBS All Access or another Paramount streamer, Warner/HBO rejected the proposal as a ‘non-profit’. starter’.” the lawsuit said.
SPDS is South Park Digital Studios, a media company that produces “South Park” and has also created titles such as “The Book of Mormon.”
“We believe these claims are baseless and look forward to demonstrating this through legal process,” Paramount said, per Variety.