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OCT
19
2 YEARS

CBS, FamilyNet Settle Lawsuit Over License Payments on 'Happy Days,' 'Family Ties'

The lawsuit alleged that the family-minded TV network now owned by ComStar stopped paying syndication fees on old shows.

Happy Days Cast
Courtesy Everett Collection

CBS has come to a settlement agreement with ComStar Media in a lawsuit that contended that FamilyNet Television broadcast shows like Happy Days, Family Ties, My Three Sons and Early Edition without paying licensing fees.

The claims were made in a California federal court in April.

According to the complaint, CBS alleged $1.5 million in damages in a dispute that emanated from ComStar Media's acquisition of FamilyNet Television in 2009.

At the time, FamilyNet had a licensing agreement in place for the shows in question, and in acquiring the network in 2009 along with AmericanLife Television Network, ComStar touted the fact that 50 million households would have access to a library of sitcoms including CBS-owned Happy Days and My Three Sons.

STORY: CBS, 'Happy Days' Cast Settle Royalties Lawsuit

But CBS said that licensing payments stopped coming in 2010.

And according to the complaint, Comstar resisted payments. "ComStar and FNM have informed CBS that they have no obligation to make the payments due under the License Agreement because, they claim, when they acquired the assets of Family, they did not acquire the corresponding liabilities," said the original lawsuit.

The companies announced the settlement on Friday. A stipulation to dismiss the case was also filed in federal court. Financial terms have not been made public.

"I am pleased that we have been able to reach an amicable resolution to this matter," said Robert A. Schuller, chairman of Family Net Management. "We look forward to the opportunity to do business with CBS in the future."

E-mail: eriq.gardner@thr.com; Twitter: @eriqgardner