Disney Loses Appeal in $319 Million (€244 Million) “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” Case

Judges rule producers of the show are right, will receive compensation

In what is yet another chapter in the long “Who Wants to Be a Millionaire” saga, Disney and its affiliates have just lost the appeal in a massive, $319 million (€244 million) case filed by the creators of the show, Celador International, Inc.

The saga started in 2004, when Celador took legal action against Disney and its affiliates ABC, Buena Vista Television and Valleycrest Production, claiming it had been deprived of rightful profits through a string of “shady” operations on behalf of the defendants.

The Wrap is now reporting that judges have ruled Celador was right in its initial claims, and that the defendants must comply with a 2010 ruling which awarded the creators of the popular show a whopping $319 million (€244 million) in damages.

“In a ruling filed on Monday, a trio of US 9th Circuit Court of Appeals judges shot down ABC, Buena Vista Television and Valleycrest Productions, after those companies (referred to as ‘the Disney affiliates’ in the ruling) sought to appeal an earlier order denying their motion for judgment as a matter of law, and for a new trial in the matter,” The Wrap says.

“In 2010, ‘Millionaire’ creators Celador International, Inc. received a judgment of just over $269 million [€205.7 million], and the company later received another $50 million [€38.2 million] after Judge Virginia Phillips awarded prejudgment interest to the British company,” the report further mentions.

“Celador, which initially filed suit in 2004, had argued that Disney and its affiliates ABC, Buena Vista Television and Valleycrest Production set up numerous shady deals and on-the-sly arrangements that robbed Celador of hundreds of millions in expected revenues,” The Wrap writes.

The defendants filed an appeal shortly after the 2010 ruling in favor of Celador, claiming several errors had unjustly shifted the balance towards the creators of the show.

At the moment of writing, ABC had yet to address the new ruling in any way.

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