Disney Loses 'Who Wants to Be a Millionaire' Case


Walt Disney (DIS) must pay $269.2 million to a British company that sold the entertainment giant the U.S. rights to the hit game show Who Wants to be a Millionaire.

A California jury on Wednesday sided with Celador International's claims that Disney didn't pay its fair share of the profits from the show. Celador, a British production company, had asked the jury for $395 million in damages. In a statement issued after the verdict, the Disney said: "We believe this verdict is fundamentally wrong and will aggressively seek to have it reversed."

Who Wants to be a Millionaire
aired on ABC beginning in 1999, and was the network's No. 1 show for more than a decade. It continues to air on local stations.

Celador argued that Disney moved money around to its various companies and in turn didn't pay an agreed-upon share of the money. One report estimated that the show raised $1.8 billion in advertising for ABC, while Disney said it lost $73 million.