Over the last few years, rights to many programs have switched hands as new streaming services have launched. Paramount, for example, sold rights to South Park streaming to HBO Max. Now Warner Bros. Discovery has sued Paramount over South Park, arguing Paramount breached its contract, according to CNBC.
The main issue here is South Park specials that have streamed on Paramount+, not HBO Max. The argument by Paramount is these specials are not a part of the deal with HBO Max, only the regular season episodes are. HBO Max argues these specials should have been streamed on its streaming service, not Paramount+.
HBO Max’s deal with Paramount has them paying $1.69 million per episode of South Park. In 2020 during the pandemic, Paramount stopped production of South Park but made two specials later that year that streamed on Paramount+.
Paramount+ has denied that they have breached the contract and has accused Warner Bros. Discovery of not paying for new episodes of South Park.
At stake here is the idea that HBO Max has rights to all of South Park’s new productions. Paramount is arguing that they only have rights to regular episodes, not specials.
As the streaming wars heat up, fights like this will become more common as services struggle to become profitable and look to get their hands on the best content.