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Did Disney Shortchange on Millionaire?

6 July 2010 No Comment

While Who Wants to Be a Millionaire may not be the juggernaut it once was, there is still a lot of wrangling going on over the royalties from the program. Celador, the British production company responsible for the original version of the show thinks that Disney did not pay them their fair share of the profits of the US version of the show.

Disney is perceived to have the upper hand in the battle because of it’s size and heft, however Celador claims that they are entitled to 50% of the profits from the television game show. While the British company claims they are entitled to $270 million, Disney’s lawyers say they have paid less than $20 million. This makes the stakes very high for Celador.

No one disputes that the show was a huge hit and made a fortune for Disney. According to the Guardian:

Jurors were read emails sent by Disney’s former boss Michael Eisner, who described the show as “quite awesome” and told colleagues: “This kind of thing happens maybe once a decade.”

The question they must now decide is whether Celador go their fair share.

Image Courtesy of ABC

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