BBC wins ‘Dancing’ Italian battle

An Italian court has ruled in favour of the BBC Worldwide and RAI’s joint action against Mediaset/Endemol TV dance show ‘Baila!’, which the court said had too many similarities with BBC format ‘Strictly Come Dancing’/’Dancing with the Stars’.

Mediaset went ahead with their normal transmission after making some alterations to their format, while at the same time saying that they found it tough that the judge in the case had not viewed a single minute of their show. In a statement Mediaset says they will appeal the decision.

Their statement said: “Nevertheless a judge’s decision, even if provisional and not shared by us, should be respected while we wait for it to be annulled. Consequently, while Mediaset remains convinced that its programme is absolutely unique and original, “Baila!” will scrupulously observe the court imposed restrictions handed down by the civil court in Rome, confident that they will be rapidly overturned.

“One fact remains: never before has there been the expectation that a particular type of TV programme be broadcast by only one channel. Since TV was born, the major programme types have been well established and identifiable: song, dance, comedy… Are there to be no more talent shows because there is ‘Amici’? No more cabaret because there is ‘Zelig’? No more reality shows because there is ‘Grande Fratello’? Mediaset has never thought like this.

“Of course, there are registered formats. And in fact Mediaset at one stage bought from Endemol a format that originated in South America,

“Bailando por un sueño”, which has been broadcast in a number of countries alongside the competing format that was adapted for Italian TV. But if the judge deems that it needs to be further modified then we will comply, while we wait for the provisional decision to be overturned.”

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