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FOX STATIONS’ UPN SUIT HEADED TO CALIFORNIA

Jul 7, 2003  •  Post A Comment

Fox Television Stations’ $108 million breach-of-contract lawsuit against Viacom-owned UPN appears headed to a California court after a New York Supreme Court judge dismissed the suit.
The judge gave Fox 60 days in which to refile its action in California. At a hearing in late June Judge Karla Moskowitz ruled that the issues and agreements in question were governed by California law, not New York Law.
At issue is money that was paid under a 1997 UPN affiliation agreement to Chicago’s WPWR-TV, which Fox acquired last year from Newsweb Corp. Despite favored-nations guarantees, no similar compensation was made to stations owned by former UPN partner Chris-Craft Industries, including WWOR-TV, New York, and KCOP-TV, Los Angeles, which also are now owned by Fox.
“We are pleased the judge decided this matter quickly, and we will be refiling the suit in California as soon as a formal order is entered,” Fox said in a statement. “The judge’s order will prevent the defendant [UPN] from using jurisdictional disputes as a further delaying tactic, because it was the defendant who argued that the case should be heard in California.”
There was no comment from a spokesman for Viacom-owned CBS, which now runs UPN.