Banijay considers lawsuit against Eyeworks over Celebrity Splash

Pascale Paoli-Lebailly | 05-10-2012

Production house Banijay has taken legal advice over its concern that Celebrity Splash from rival Eyeworks is too similar to its own show Stars in Danger.

The Stars in Danger format, known on local German TV as Turmspringen, has aired annually on ProSieben since 2004 as part of the Stars in Danger franchise produced by Banijay’s Brainpool and focus on celebrities in a diving completion. Similar aquatic programme Sterren Springen, sold worldwide by Eyeworks as Celebrity Splash, airs in the Netherlands on SBS6 and had a market share of more than 20% for its finale this summer.

Responding to Banijay's statement, Sander Emmering, the managing director of Eyeworks Netherlands, commented: "We understand that Banijay is considering legal measures and we are actually quite surprised that they have apparently made this public. This is the more disturbing since we have just released the press statement that, after the successful launch of the program in the Netherlands, we sold Celebrity Splash to parties in the U.K., France and Australia, while there is great interest from many other territories. We have developed this new format in-house, and the way that diving by celebrities is brought to life in our show is in line with other distinct formats that we have developed in the past.

“The Celebrity Splash format is currently recognised as a ground-breaking show and presented in a series of four to eight episodes. The program on which Banijay apparently relies for its possible legal measures, TV Total, consists of one off events such as wok racing, ice football, stock car crash challenge and Turmspringen, that never attracted any substantial international exposure or interest.”