“DAYS OF OUR LIVES” DAYS ARE NUMBERED AFTER SONY REFUSES TO MARKET THE LONGSTANDING SOAP
Steven T. Lowe
Six-decade long soap opera, “Days of our Lives,” is being threatened with termination by Sony Pictures Televisions Inc. (“Sony”). According to the plaintiff in the lawsuit, Sony’s decision is based upon its desire to boost the ratings of its own almost 50 year running soap opera, “The Young and the Restless.”
Corday Productions Inc., the long-time producer of “Days of our Lives,” filed a lawsuit on February 11, 2019, in California state court seeking at least $20 million in damages for Sony’s lack of marketing of “Days of our Lives” by failing to promote it in foreign markets or distribute it through online streaming services.
Corday claims that Sony, which has served for decades as a distributor of “Days of our Lives,” hadn’t paid its share of the soap opera’s marketing and production costs, and that it had used accounting trickery to make it appear as though Corday owes Sony money.
“In the annals of Hollywood television, it is difficult to identify a distributor more guilty of blatant conflict of interest, deceit, perfidy, and abuse of market power,” Corday said in the complaint. Corday pointed to data that purportedly shows a slight dip in ratings for “Days of our Lives,” but a sharp drop in Sony’s revenues from distributing the show.
“This dramatic decline is directly attributable to a decision at the highest levels of Sony management to eliminate any competition to its own wholly-owned series ‘The Young and the Restless,’ also distributed by Sony,” Corday said.
Corday is accusing Sony of breach of fiduciary duty for its purported decision to wind down marketing for “Days of our Lives,” as well as for fraud for its alleged accounting tricks in addition to allegedly lying about its efforts to license the soap opera in foreign markets where it had previously aired. The suit also alleges breach of implied covenant of good faith and violation of California’s unfair competition law.
Corday is represented by Pierce O’Donnell, Daniel G. Stone and Joshua M. Geller of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger LLP.
Counsel information for Sony is not yet available.
The case is Corday Productions Inc. v. Sony Pictures Television Inc. et al., in the Superior Court of California, County of Los Angeles. A case number wasn’t immediately available.
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