December 9, 2023

Stan and Kyle in the episode “The Clubhouse”.

Getty Images | Houghton Archives | Getty Images

It’s dropping in “South Park.”

Paramount Global snap back warner bros found in a lawsuit over the streaming rights of the comedy cartoon, and is seeking more than $50 million in unpaid fees.

Countersuit, Paramount submitted on wednesdaynearly two months after the feud between the two media giants kicked off.

In February, Warner sued Paramount for breach of contract, seeking hundreds of millions of dollars in damages. Warner alleges that Paramount refused to offer specials and other related “South Park” content when its fledgling streaming service, Paramount+, was just getting started.

Paramount filed a countersuit on Wednesday, again denying allegations that it failed to honor its contractual agreement to license the rights to “South Park” to Warner for its HBO Max streaming service.

The related “South Park” content was created at the height of the pandemic, when the show’s creators and crews couldn’t meet normally to make episodes, instead producing some that ended up being twice as long as the usual 22-minute installments. feature film.

A Paramount spokesman said in a statement: “Warner Bros. Discovery irrefutably refuses to pay the more than $50 million it is owed for South Park content it undisputedly received, while HBO Max continues to air and exploit these content.” “Warner Bros. finds the company’s argument that Paramount Universal was asked to provide additional South Park content to be baseless and entirely unsupported by the agreement between the parties. Furthermore, it certainly does not justify WBD’s refusal to claim that it has All the very valuable content it receives pays for and it continues to monetize.”

In the original lawsuit, Warner said it agreed to pay more than $500 million in 2019, or about $1.69 million per episode, to license HBO Max to air episodes of the feature-length cartoon featuring schoolchildren. For decades, “South Park” aired on Paramount’s cable network, Comedy Central.

During the bidding process for streaming rights, Paramount allegedly asked if they could share the rights to Paramount+, Warner said in earlier filings. Warner rejected the offer, saying Paramount reneged on its contract and withheld content at the height of the pandemic.

“In our view, Paramount and South Park Digital Studios have embarked on a multi-year scheme of unfair trade practices and deceit, blatantly and repeatedly violating our contracts, which clearly grants HBO Max new access to existing libraries and popular animation. exclusive streaming rights to the content of the comedy South Park,” a Warner spokesman said.

Warner claims the plan was concocted when Paramount subsidiary MTV signed a deal with the “South Park” creator in 2021 that called for exclusive content on Paramount+, It is said Worth $900 million.

Paramount claimed that Warner twice refused to pay more than $26 million in licensing fees in December 2022 and March 2023, adding, “There are indications that Warner will continue to withhold the remaining $225 million in licensing fees for five years.” term of office.”

Warner’s HBO Max — which is relaunching Max — continues to feature the entire “South Park” library, the company added.