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King World, Sony in Legal Dispute

May 14, 1997|(Reuters)

King World Productions Inc., which distributes such popular TV game shows as "Jeopardy!" and "Wheel of Fortune," has asked a federal court to decide whether an existing game show distribution agreement with Sony Corp. precludes King World from producing other game shows on its own. Sony, which produces "Wheel" and "Jeopardy!," filed a response last week seeking unspecified damages from King World, which it said breached its distribution contract. King World fired back, calling the Sony suit without merit and pledging to aggressively litigate the matter. King World maintains it still has the right to produce game shows, provided the distribution is handled by another party. King World was not immediately available for comment, but a source close to the company said it decided to seek a legal resolution at this time because it is interested in producing a new edition of "Hollywood Squares," the game show featuring celebrities that was a hit in the 1970s. News of the litigation in Los Angeles County Superior Court was disclosed in a filing King World made with the SEC. Sony was not immediately available for comment.

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