Warner Bros. Discovery (WBD) sued Paramount Global for allegedly breaching parts of the $500 million contract that gave HBO Max the rights to broadcast South Park in 2019.
In the lawsuit, WBD claims that Paramount “blatantly intent” to steer users toward its service by not just offering new specials, but by shortening HBO’s service on promised regular-season content.
According to a report published on the website of Engadget, HBO Max was promised three new seasons with 10 episodes each. However, the provider says that it only got eight episodes in the two seasons delivered and that the six episodes of the next season also fall short.
In addition to this, Paramount allegedly used “verbal tricks” to rebrand content as movies or events to avoid sending videos to its competitor.
In a statement to Engadget, Paramount claims the lawsuit is “baseless”. He also maintains that he is still abiding by the contract despite the fact that Warner allegedly did not pay license fees for the South Park episodes already delivered. The aforementioned meido also asked WBD for comment.
Warner Bros. Discovery was determined to amass as much content as possible for HBO Max ahead of its 2020 launch, including Friends and Doctor Who. Regardless of whether or not Paramount violated their contract, South Park content on Paramount+ lessens HBO Max’s content advantage, as users don’t have to use that service if they want to stream the recent adventures of Cartman and his crew. .
Meanwhile, Paramount has multiple reasons to challenge the lawsuit. Paramount+ is thriving even as rivals like Netflix struggle, having surpassed 43 million users as of last spring.
While it’s unclear what role South Park is playing in that growth, the company may not want to give up broadcast rights to one of its best-known shows.