Trouble brews in the reality talent show world, putting (the show formerly known as) The Voice of China at the center of a tricky legal dispute.
The first four seasons of The Voice of China have been extraordinarily successful, maintaining first place in national television ratings for the vast majority of its run, according to CSM Media Research. The show’s format is an adaptation of The Voice, a Dutch show which has been reproduced internationally, by local and regional media companies.
Talpa Global, owner of the reality singing competition’s format, released a statement Wednesday denouncing The Voice of China as “pirated,” according to a Straits Times report. This statement follows Talpa’s announcement on January 22 of intentions to pursue an interim injunction against the show’s Chinese producer, Star China Media (SCM). On January 28, SCM countered, claiming Talpa Global had prematurely broken their contract.
Talpa has responded against such claims, replying that the two companies had failed to agree on the conditions of a renewal contract before the previous contract ended. Pim Schmitz, chief executive of Talpa Holdings, released a statement regarding the dilemma:
This show is more and more popular every year, it’s natural and normal for prices to rise, and no country is an exception. However, we found that our partner, in making the terms of a contract proposal for the fifth season, wanted to pay a fee lower than for the second season.
Despite the legal technicalities, it appears the show’s popularity is not scheduled to fall anytime soon. International heart-throb Jay Chou was casted to judge during the show’s fifth season. However, the newlywed Chou, reported to have rented out an entire floor in an upscale hotel for his wife’s post-labor recovery, is not the only change to have come to The Voice of China’s fifth season. In fact, the show will be swapping The Voice’s fingers and microphone logo for the simple letter “V” and will be airing under the English name China Super Vocal — though the Chinese name will remain the same. Copyright problem solved, right?
Not exactly, these adjustments apparently aren’t sufficient for Talpa Holdings, subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch’s NewsCorp. Talpa plans to take further legal action in preventing the airing of Star China’s “new” show. Additionally, the company is separately producing a new season of The Voice of China with Chinese company, Talent International.
Yay! More singing shows, just what this country needs after eliminating all those immoral reality shows with kids.
By Matthew Patel