Celador’s long-running legal action with The Walt Disney Company is finally over, with the US’ 9th Circuit Appeal Court denying Disney any prospect of extending its slew of appeals against a previous verdict. That verdict awarded $319 million to Celador International for licensing breaches by Disney concerning Celador’s “Who Wants to be a Millionaire?” quiz show.
The US court had in December confirmed the earlier award, and has now thrown out a series of appeals mounted by ABC, Buena Vista Television and Valleycrest Productions.
Celador has argued that ABC and (and the affiliates mention) failed to include ABC’s profits when calculating the financial participation owed to Celador. Celador claimed that ABC had improperly deducted merchandising and other expenses associated with the hit show. During a five-week trial the jury ordered Disney to pay Celador nearly $270 million for breaching its license agreement. A further $50 million in interest charges was subsequently added.
The initial deal between Celador and ABC was signed in 1998, and saw the show top US ratings for many years.