SBS battles Dutch mogul

Company seeks end to 'Expedition'

AMSTERDAM — SBS Broadcasting will be back in court June 15 in a new legal wrangle with Dutch media mogul John de Mol and his TV venture, now called Talpa after SBS forced a name change from Tien (Ten).

A judge ruled last week that De Mol could not use Ten because it infringed on the trademarked TV10, which SBS wants to use for the launch of a digital channel.

SBS now wants Talpa to cease production on “Expedition Robinson,” whose rights Talpa bought in January from British outfit Castaway.

Swedish production shop Strix has had the rights to produce “Expedition Robinson” from Castaway for certain territories since 1996. SBS bought the rights from Strix and produced it for five seasons and claims its last contract for the fifth season also gave it first option for the sixth.

Castaway exercised its own option, however, and sold the rights directly to Talpa. Strix subsequently signed to help produce “Expedition Robinson” for Talpa.

Strix had no comment.

A number of former SBS employees involved in the “Expedition Robinson” production have now migrated to Talpa, among them former Net 5 programming director Remco Van Westerloo.

The newest complaint charges Van Westerloo is in abrogation of a previous noncompete clause if he works on “Expedition Robinson” at Talpa.

The complaint also asks for E150,000 ($184,000) damages in anticipation of further damage complaints to be filed should SBS win the June 15 action.

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