Corday Productions Sues Sony to Terminate Distribution Agreement for Days of our Lives

Corday Productions, Inc. announced that it has filed a lawsuit today against Sony Pictures Television seeking to terminate its 54-year relationship with the distributor of its legendary daytime television series Days of our Lives. The complaint filed in Los Angeles Superior Court alleges that Sony has intentionally sought to destroy the series so that Sonys wholly-owned daytime series The Young and The Restless will have no competition in foreign markets.

Days of our Lives has been owned and produced by the Corday family since its debut on NBC in 1965. The one-hour drama has long been recognized for its excellence, winning a total of 56 Daytime Emmy Awards over the past half century and three Daytime Emmy Awards for Outstanding Drama Series in the past six seasons. Historically, the series has performed well in both English and non-English speaking foreign countries.

The Complaint alleges:

Sony Pictures Television has embarked on a concerted campaign to destroy the legendary daytime drama Days of our Lives by starving it to death. While Days of our Lives continues to earn accolades and strong ratings, Sony has effectively ceased its efforts to market and distribute the Series. . . . Sonys distribution receipts have decreased by over 50% [during just the past four years.]

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Corday Productions President and sole owner Ken Corday remarked, Its extremely sad that a partnership of 54 years that was first forged in the early 1960s by my parents and what was then Screen Gems Television, and is now Sony, has deteriorated to this level. Our action today comes after deep diligent reflection. It is absolutely necessary to bring the current untenable situation out into the light in order to ensure the future of Days of our Lives for its incredible employees and for the hundreds of millions of loyal and dedicated fans worldwide.

The Complaint alleges that Sony, which distributes both Days of our Lives and The Young and The Restless, has abandoned selling Days of our Lives internationally and is promoting only The Young and The Restless because Sony does not have to share revenues for that show with anyone else. At the same time that foreign revenues for Days of our Lives are plummeting, Sony has negotiated an inadequate license fee with NBC, failed to exploit the rapidly-growing cable television and streaming video on demand markets, and neglected to market the valuable back-catalog of thousands of hours of programing.

The Complaint alleges that Sony is engaging in unlawful anticompetitive conduct:

Sonys representation of two competing series has led to two unlawful results: (a) refusing to sell Days of our Lives in foreign markets, thereby making The Young and The Restless the only available daytime drama to purchase from Sony; or (b) selling the two competitors as a packageinstead of negotiating in good faith for each seriesand misallocating revenues in favor of The Young and The Restless.

My client will not sit idly by while Sony Pictures Television seeks to destroy its legendary series Days of our Lives, stated Pierce ODonnell of Greenberg Glusker Fields Claman & Machtinger, attorneys for Corday Productions, Inc. Our complaint exposes Sonys concerted campaign to abandon selling the 54-year-old celebrated television series in foreign markets while Sony promotes its own daytime drama The Young and The Restless. As the Complaint alleges: this conduct by ‘a faithless fiduciary’ cannot be countenanced. We are eager to present this damning evidence to a Los Angeles jury.

In addition to seeking termination of its distribution agreement with Sony, Corday Productions is requesting at least $20 million in compensatory damages for lost profits and a multiple of that amount in punitive damages for breaches of fiduciary duty, fraud, breach of contract, and unfair competition.

The case is Corday Productions, Inc. v. Sony Pictures Television, Inc, et al. (Los Angeles Superior Court).

For further information, contact: Daniel Stone at [email protected] or 310.201.7578.

For a copy of the Complaint go to: https://securefile.ggfirm.com/

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Daniel Stone
[email protected]
310.201.7578