Rock, Sony to settle breach-of-contract suit out of court

Castle Rock and Sony have agreed to take their $10 million legal dispute over syndie advertising revenue from “Seinfeld” to a private arbitrator, who is expected to make a decision in the fall.

“Seinfeld” producer Castle Rock filed a breach-of-contract suit against a Sony Pictures Entertainment subsidiary in Los Angeles Superior Court in November 1996. L.A. Superior Court Judge Fumiko Wasserman approved the transfer to an outside arbitrator Friday.

Castle Rock claims Sony breached the terms of their 1987 distribution pact by taking an additional 15% of gross revenues from “Seinfeld” syndie sales, on top of its regular 15% distribution fee, as a fee for handling national barter advertising sales for the show. The mega-hit “Seinfeld” is projected to generate more than $1 billion in syndie revenue in its first dozen years in syndication.

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