Warner Bros. Discovery has filed a lawsuit today in New York Supreme Court against Paramount Global over a licensing issue with South Park. The accusation is that Paramount backed out on a $500 million deal in 2019 for the streaming rights to the satirical cartoon (via Variety).
According to Warner Bros., in the filing for the lawsuit, it alleged that Paramount started shifting South Park specials and other related content to its platform, Paramount+. It had written that Paramount “blatantly intended to prop up Paramount+ at the expense of Warner/HBO.” It also wrote that the competitor took action in “multiple and flagrant duplicitous contortions of fact and breaches of contract.”
HBO Max claimed that it had been trying to get Paramount to resolve the issue before leading to sue.
Warner Bros. files lawsuit against Paramount over licensing South Park
The deal in 2019 placed the cartoon in a new home by 2020. HBO Max had won the right to stream the series created by Trey Parker and Matt Stone. The 500-550 million deal took the series away from Hulu and gave a boost to HBO Max, which debuted in 2020. While the company was aiming for original content to lift up the platform, an established show like South Park proved to be a significant bump to get it off the ground, especially when it comes to adult animation, which it has invested in since its 2020 debut.
Started in 1997, South Park has been a major comedy series that has plenty of controversy in its history (and a lawsuit here and there). It has won five Emmys throughout its run. The 26th season is currently running, which has already seen its typical humor as it poked fun at Ye (formerly known as Kanye West) and Prince Harry and Meghan Markle.
The series airs on Comedy Central and is available to stream on HBO Max.