Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 1 February 2015

Court backs TV Millionaire verdict

A contestant on the US version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (AP Photo/Disney-ABC Domestic Television)
A contestant on the US version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? (AP Photo/Disney-ABC Domestic Television)

A US appeal court has upheld a £200 million verdict over profits from TV game show Who Wants To Be A Millionaire? rejecting a request by Walt Disney for a new trial.

A jury decided in 2010 that Disney hid the show's profits from the ITV show's creators, London-based Celador International.

The ruling by a three-judge panel of the 9th US Circuit Court of Appeals in Los Angeles found no issues with the verdict or the judge's rulings in the case.

"I am pleased that justice has been done," Celador chairman Paul Smith said.

Disney did not immediately comment on the decision.

The ruling comes more than two years after the jury ruled in Celador's favour after a lengthy trial that featured evidence from several top Disney executives.

Celador sued in 2004, claiming Disney was using creative accounting to hide profits from the show, which first ran in the United States from August 1999 to May 2002 and was a huge hit for ABC.

The jury found that Celador was owed 269.2 million dollars, and a judge later added 50 million dollars in interest to the judgment.

The appeal court determined the verdict was not "grossly excessive or monstrous" and that it was not based on speculation or guesswork.

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Your Horoscopes by Russell Grant

Aquarius:

Trust your instincts regarding moneymaking offers. If a job seems too good to be true, it probably is. Working as part of a campaigning team will suit you down to the ground. You're more motivated to help people than turn big profits. Some friends will discourage you from entering such a field, fearing it won't be lucrative. Don't worry. You'll make a very good salary by doing what you love. Contrary to popular belief, you don't have to be miserable to earn a good living.More