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Banijay and Fremantle indie in format dispute

Banijay and Fremantle Media-owned indie Abot Hameiri have become embroiled in a format dispute over general entertainment show All Against 1.

The matter could end up in the UK courts after Abot Hameiri employed Lewis and Silkin lawyer Jonathan Coad, who represented Love Productions over the move of The Great British Bake Off to Channel 4, to oversee the matter.

Israeli firm Abot Hameiri has claimed that the French group’s show, which is launching in Cannes, takes a number of format points from its own show Are You Smarter Than The Crowd.

Are You Smarter Than The Crowd is based on the wisdom of the crowd theory, pitting individuals in a studio against viewers to answer a series of visually-based questions.

All Against 1, meanwhile, pits contestants in the studio against app users at home across six rounds in which they estimate the outcome of various experiments and stunts.

Abot Hameiri said that it pitched its format to Banijay at Mip TV in 2014 but that it was turned down.

It has claimed that Banijay, which merged with RDF and IWC owner Zodiak in February, then launched All Against 1 in Denmark with public broadcaster DR and that the show had “similarities” with its own idea.

Banijay Group has denied that it has replicated Are You Smarter Than The Crowd and said that the claims have been made to “cause maximum disruption to our sales efforts at Mipcom”.
 
“There are a number of other derivative entertainment formats from all over the world available on the market using similar but not the same mechanisms,” a Banijay spokesperson said.

“The Best of All has not yet aired however from what we understand there are many differences between this and All Against 1. We reserve our rights if we consider that some of our key features have been copied.”

All Against 1

Created by Banijay Group-owned Nordisk Film TV Denmark for Danish broadcaster DR1, Banijay says All Against 1 is the country’s highest-rating new format this year, taking an average audience share of 44% each week since its June premiere.

What has made it a hit? The format pits contestants in the studio against app users at home across six rounds in which they estimate the outcome of various experiments and stunts.

For example, how quickly will a caravan hit the ground, or how many kids does it take to pull a truck?

Each challenge is creatively demonstrated off-site, adding some off-kilter colour – and laughs – to the standard gameshow format. Stakes are also high: studio contestants are up against the viewers at home, and the estimate that comes closest to the actual answer wins, with an app user chosen at random if the studio contestant gets it wrong.

Tim Mutimer, chief executive of Zodiak Rights, describes All Against 1 as a “ratings juggernaut”.

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