Mex nets stepping on each other's toes

Mexico’s top two nets are going toe to toe with dancing-themed reality shows on Sunday nights. But the BBC might be cutting in. Televisa launched “Bailando por un sueno” (Dancing for a Dream) Aug. 14 after a month of publicity, but TV Azteca tried to pull the rug out with its hastily improvised “Bailando por un million” (Dancing for a Million) a week earlier.

It was a short-lived coup, however, as Televisa trumped TV Azteca, pulling in a national rating of 26.5 vs. 12.9.

But the nets aren’t just fighting for ratings.

Both claim to have been first with the idea of pairing a Mexican TV star with an unknown — a twist on BBC’s “Strictly Come Dancing,” which pairs stars with professional dancers and has sparked licensed copies across Europe and on ABC, as well as Fox’s “American Idol”-”Dancing With the Stars” fusion “So You Think You Can Dance.” 

TV Azteca veep Martin Luna boasted to local media that Azteca had bought the rights from the BBC, but the BBC says it doesn’t have a deal with either Mexican net.

The BBC is eager to defend its rights, and is mulling legal action against Gestmusic-Endemol for copying its format in “Mira quien baila” (Look Who’s Dancing), broadcast on Spain’s TVE. The Beeb could set its sights on Mexico’s dueling formats.

Televisa’s program pits dancing teams against one another before a panel of judges for the chance to make a dream come true; TV Azteca’s show aims for the pocketbook with a chance to win 1 million pesos ($94,000).

Both shows feature call-in-votes at a rate of $2.35 per vote, with Televisa saying it will match and donate income to an organ transplant fund.

But it may need the cash for a legal fund.

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