BBC Worldwide (BBCWW) is taking Endemol, Mediaset and Televisa to court in Italy over a forthcoming competitive dance series which the UK firm claims is a rip-off of its Dancing with the Stars (DWTS) format.
The row centers around Baila!, an Italian version of Televisa’s South American show Bailando por un Sueno , which is being made by Endemol, and is due to premiere on Mediaset-owned Canale 5 in Italy later this month.
Like DWTS, the show features celebrities competitively dancing, however in Baila! the celebs are paired up with members of the public, rather than professional dancers.
In a statement, BBCWW said: “BBC Worldwide takes the protection of its copyright extremely seriously and is currently undertaking legal action in Italy to protect its Dancing with the Stars format.
“Dancing with the Stars has been named as world’s most successful reality TV format and has been licensed to over 35 international broadcasters. It is very important to BBC Worldwide and its international licensees that the format is protected from infringement.”
Endemol is declining to comment on the lawsuit, while Mediaset and Televisa are yet to respond.