BBC cuts ‘Link’ to ailing ECM

License fee debt causes pubcaster to pull show

LONDON — BBC Worldwide has withdrawn Asian distribution rights to hit gameshow “The Weakest Link” from U.K. distribber ECM and is seeking legal advice following a dispute over license fee payments.

ECM reportedly owes BBC Worldwide £1 million ($1.56 million) for licensing the format across most of Asia including Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan, Hong Kong and China. Company also reportedly owes Endemol $125,000 for licensing “Ready Steady Cook” to Greece.

ECM’s financial difficulties started when Procter & Gamble stopped financing its productions a year ago, after the bottom fell out of the advertising market. ECM specializes in barter deals whereby a broadcaster pays a lower license fee but trades a portion of its airtime in return for broadcast rights. P&G advertises its products around the shows it helped finance.

ECM chief operating officer Chris Bonney said it is going through a “financial restructure” and is in discussions with a “number of parties about possible outcomes.” Canadian-based format specialist Distraction Formats has signed a non-disclosure agreement with ECM and is evaluating the company and its assets.

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More TV News from Variety

Loading