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The streaming rights for South Park are at the center of a massive lawsuit between two services, HBO Max and Paramount+. 

Warner Bros. Discovery, the parent company of HBO Max, sued Paramount Global, arguing South Park violates the $500 million deal that gave HBO Max the exclusive South Park streaming rights because new episodes are performing better. HBO Max believed they overpaid for the deal for the show’s entire catalog to stream exclusively on the then-new HBO Max service, which would also gain the exclusive rights to South Park’s next three seasons.

Warner Bros. Discovery accuses the Paramount/South Park deal of using “verbal trickery” and “grammatical sleight-of-hand” to label that cartoon content as “specials” — and thus, Paramount+ property — and not “episodes,” which would make them HBO Max exclusives.

Paramount Global denied the allegations in a statement to Variety. “We believe these claims are without merit and look forward to demonstrating so through the legal process,” a Paramount Global spokesperson said. “We also note that Paramount continues to adhere to the parties’ contract by delivering new South Park episodes to HBO Max, even though 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.”

South Park creator Matt Stone was quoted in the lawsuit as saying, “We have f*** you money now” following the Paramount+ deal.

– Excerpt from an article for Rolling Stone by Daniel Kreps. Read the full article here.


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