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HBO sues Paramount after alleging it breached $500,000 South Park deal
Featured Image Credit: Alvaro González/Alamy Stock Photo/Comedy Central/David Esser/Alamy Stock Photo

HBO sues Paramount after alleging it breached $500,000 South Park deal

HBO Max is suing Paramount Global over its 'exclusive' South Park streaming rights.

HBO Max is suing Paramount Global over its 'exclusive' South Park streaming rights.

On Friday (24 February), a lawsuit was filed in New York state court by Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. - owner of HBO Max - against Paramount Global, MTV Entertainment Studios and South Park Digital Studios.

Warner Bros. claims Paramount has breached its 2019 contract whereby it gave HBO Max exclusive streaming rights for a number of episodes of animated television series South Park.

In October 2019, HBO Max and Paramount agreed on a $500,000 (£419,000) licensing deal which saw HBO Max given exclusive streaming rights to all previous episodes of South Park as well as 30 new episodes for seasons 23 to 26 spanning until June 2025, as stated in the court papers.

However, Warner Bros. claims only 14 episodes have been received, and that it was left 'shocked' when two months later, two South Park 'events' were also announced by MTV to exclusively stream on Paramount+.

Warner Bros. Discovery Inc/ HBO Max is suing Paramount over its 2019 'South Park' licensing agreement.

Warner Bros. has since accused Paramount of 'multiple and flagrant duplicitous contortions of fact' using 'verbal trickery' and 'grammatical sleight-of-hand' to 'side step' its 2019 agreement, such as calling its Paramount+ content 'events' and 'movies' instead of episodes.

Warner Bros. claims the Paramount+ South Park 'events' are a 'breach of contract [...] blatantly intended to prop up Paramount+ at the expense of Warner/HBO' and saw Paramount gain a 'sizeable increase' in subscribers as well as leading to 'massive' profits for the company.

The lawsuit continues: "Warner/HBO brings this lawsuit to vindicate its rights and recover the hundreds of millions of dollars in damages incurred as a result of Defendants’ misconduct."

The 2019 licensing deal cost HBO Max a whopping $500,000.
SOPA Images Limited / Alamy Stock Photo

In a statement, as reported by the New York Post, HBO Max said: "We believe that Paramount and South Park Digital Studios embarked on a multi-year scheme of unfair trade practices and deception, flagrantly and repeatedly breaching our contract, which clearly gave HBO Max exclusive streaming rights to the existing library and new content from the popular animated comedy South Park."

Warner Bros. has accused Paramount of 'unfairly tak[ing] advantage of Warner/HBO [...] and stealing its content'.

Warner Bros. is seeking over $200 million in damages as per Bloomberg.

Paramount has denied Warner Bro.'s allegations, as per Variety, and also claims Warner Bros. hasn't completely fulfilled the 2019 agreement anyway - alleging there are still license fees which are yet to be paid.

Warner Bros. has accused Paramount Pictures of 'stealing its content'.
Robert Landau / Alamy Stock Photo

A spokesperson for Paramount Global told Variety: "We believe these claims are without merit and look forward to demonstrating so through the legal process.

"We also note that Paramount continues to adhere to the parties’ contract by delivering new South Park episodes to HBO Max, despite the fact that Warner Bros. Discovery has failed and refused to pay license fees that it owes to Paramount for episodes that have already been delivered, and which HBO Max continues to stream."

UNILAD has contacted Warner Bros. Discovery Inc. and Paramount for comment.

Topics: HBO, Film and TV, South Park, Money