‘South Park’ Streaming Rights Are at the Center of A Corporate Cage Match
South Park fans may find that the real “Douche v. Turd” debate isn’t between presidential candidates — it’s between streaming platforms.
This past February, Warner Bros. Discovery filed a massive, $200 million lawsuit against Paramount Global over a 2019 deal made between the two megacompanies that David Zaslav’s company claims was supposed to secure exclusive streaming rights for South Park. Lo and behold, when Paramount launched their own streaming service, Paramount+, in 2021, Warner claims that loopholes and exceptions built into the half-billion dollar deal put South Park content on the new streaming platform. Despite their deal with Warner Bros. Discovery, Paramount seemed poised to use Trey Parker and Matt Stone’s masterpiece series to bolster their bid in the subscriber wars, even claiming in early 2022 that they will be South Park’s “global streaming hub” by 2025.
In the midst of multiple Hollywood strikes, Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramout+ are united on the issue of “Let’s screw over everyone who actually creates the content,” but they’re ready to pour millions of dollars in legal resources into fighting over the question of “Who gets Towelie?”
“Defendants’ Motion has the dubious distinction of trying to downplay while simultaneously highlighting the very misconduct which forced Plaintiff to file this suit,” a WBD representative wrote in a motion to toss out Paramount’s partial motion to dismiss the suit entirely — the Chewbacca Defense would be much easier to follow than whatever this is.
WBD continued, “The reality is that Defendant South Park Digital Studios agreed that Plaintiff’s HBO Max streaming platform would be the exclusive destination for consumers looking to stream new episodes of the popular comedy series South Park.” They asserted, “Defendants came to regret having granted these exclusive streaming rights to Plaintiff when Paramount Global launched its own streaming platform, Paramount+.”
Regardless of what the eventual outcome of this expensive legal battle may be, one thing is clear — if you ask Parker and Stone, the millions to hundreds-of-millions of dollars spent on legal fees and settlements would all be better spent on something that will actually improve the world. Something like renovating Casa Bonita.