Cinedigm Considering Legal Action Against Dead Talk Media
Company accuses Dead Talk Media of 'outrageous and unfounded' claims about alleged contract violations
Cinedigm told TV Tech today that it is considering taking legal action against Dead Talk Media which had issued a press release attacking Cinedigm over a programming deal that went sour in 2021, ending up in court.
In the release, titled “CINEDIGM, Another Hollywood Story Involving Bad Distribution And Concerning Contractual Breaches In The Entertainment Industry,” Dead Talk Media, a TV/film production and distribution company, accused Cinedigm, a worldwide distributor of film and TV programming, of continuing to distribute the company’s “Dead Talk Live,” even after it accused Cinedigm of contractual breaches:
“In the spring of 2022, Film/Television Studio Dead Talk Media LLC filed a lawsuit against Cinedigm Corporation on several complaints involving contractual breaches," the press release said. "In March of 2021, Dead Talk Media signed a Streaming Distribution deal with Cinedigm to deliver its Television Talk Show "Dead Talk Live" on Cinedigm's streaming platform Screambox and all the outlets that Screambox streams to, which includes Amazon Prime Video, Roku, and others."
“Dead Talk Live" premiered on "Screambox" in August 2021. In the Fall of 2021, Dead Talk Live accused Cinedigm of changing the stipulations of its contract, specifically regarding the schedule for reporting as well as a "lack of transparency" of those numbers.
Dead Talk Media said Cinedigm was also made aware of prominent errors in how "Dead Talk Live" was distributed on their Screambox outlets—most prominent of those errors being "Seasons" having the incorrect episodes and number of episodes.
Dead Talk Media said Cinedigm's President Gary Loffredo and Chief Operating Officer Yolanda Macias disregarded the company's request for an audit to which they said they were entitled to under the agreement, adding that no offer for an audit was made until Dead Talk Media filed a lawsuit in the Southern District of New York Federal Court in May of 2022.
According to Dead Talk Media, Cinedigm is still distributing "Dead Talk Live" content on several of the Screambox outlets. It accused Cinedigm of violating the termination of their agreement with Dead Talk Media by "failing to correct contractual breaches within the allotted 30 days from Cinedigm being notified of those breaches."
"This ongoing experience with Cinedigm has left me speechless," said John Vizaniaris, owner of Dead Talk Media. "These issues could have been resolved without any attorneys. Cinedigm has disregarded an agreement where the issues in dispute are laid out in black and white. Cinedigm continues to air 'Dead Talk Live' episodes to this day even though the contracted has been terminated."
The company says Cinedigm is still refusing to take down Dead Talk Media's content from its platform, disregarding an agreement made by both parties' attorneys to have the content removed and said that it is "going to continue to pursue the case in New York State Court till their content is returned to them by Cinedigm."
In response, Cinedigm issued the following statement:
"Cinedigm is not in breach of its contractual obligations. In fact, the lawsuit Dead Talk Media notes in its press release was voluntarily dismissed and both parties agreed that it had no merit. “Dead Talk Live” was streamed non-exclusively on Cinedigm’s Screambox and its platforms (i.e., Amazon, Roku) - however the content was not successful, attracting virtually no viewership.
Acting in good faith, Cinedigm provided Dead Talk Media with advance funds as their content was in such poor condition that it required video editing. The result was that Cinedigm did not recoup its investment due to the show’s miniscule viewership. As the Company believes these outrageous and unfounded claims made by Dead Talk Media are defamatory to our brand and are an impediment to conducting our business, we are unfortunately left with no choice but to pursue legal action."
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Tom has covered the broadcast technology market for the past 25 years, including three years handling member communications for the National Association of Broadcasters followed by a year as editor of Video Technology News and DTV Business executive newsletters for Phillips Publishing. In 1999 he launched digitalbroadcasting.com for internet B2B portal Verticalnet. He is also a charter member of the CTA's Academy of Digital TV Pioneers. Since 2001, he has been editor-in-chief of TV Tech (www.tvtech.com), the leading source of news and information on broadcast and related media technology and is a frequent contributor and moderator to the brand’s Tech Leadership events.