Photo: ABC screencap
Disney lost its ongoing dispute Monday with “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” series producer.The 9th Circuit Court denied the mouse house’s request for a new trial regarding its $319 million dispute with Celadon who produced the ABC hit.
Back in 2010, Celadon accused Disney of underpaying them for the show by charging merchandise distribution expenses. In response, Celadon was awarded nearly $270 million for a breach in its licence agreement before $50 million in interest charges were added.
Disney made motions for a new trial in 2010; however, they were later denied.
In its fourth quarter SEC filing, The Walt Disney Company announced they didn’t forsee the Millionaire lawsuit affecting the company.
“Although we cannot predict the ultimate outcome of this lawsuit, the Company believes the jury’s verdict is in error and is vigorously pursuing its position on appeal, notice of which was filed by the Company on January 14, 2011 … On October 10, 2012, oral argument on the appeals was held. The Company has determined that it does not have a probable loss under the applicable accounting standard relating to probability of loss for recording a reserve with respect to this litigation and therefore has not recorded a reserve.”
According to the ruling, two factors in a vague contract hurt Disney:
- It never outwardly explained merchandising deduction costs
- It had a difficult-to-interpret network licensing claim that said Celador was to receive sums from both ABC and Buena Vista Television (BVT) and then solely BVT.
You can read the full ruling HERE.
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