Bigg Boss : Controversy between Sony Entertainment Television and Endemol India

Sony Entertainment Television (SET) is headed for a faceoff with production house Endemol India, which has produced such games and reality shows like Deal or No Deal, Fame Gurukul, Fear Factor and Big Boss for the channel.

According to sources at SET, Endemol is offering the second season of reality show Big Boss to another general entertainment channel, while SET has the first right of refusal.

Sony had a volume output deal with Endemol on the back of which Endemol decided to set shop in India. The deal with Endemol India and Sony was two pronged: a volume agreement (which is estimated to be close to Rs 15-25 crore per format for a single season), that came to a close in 2006 coupled with format agreements, such as Dance Dance, Fear Factor, Fame Gurukul and Big Boss.

“In lieu of the volume deal struck with Sony, Endemol had assured Sony of the rights to a season two and three of Big Brother (Big Boss in India) and a right of first refusal on various other format shows,” said Albert Almeida, EVP & business head, Sony Entertainment Television.

However, it is learnt that Endemol India, in a letter sent to Sony, stated that it was under instruction from its headquarters not to produce a second series of Big Boss for Sony due to no official written confirmation.

The Rahul Roy, Rakhi Sawant and Carol Gracias-starrer Big Boss on Sony Entertainment Television, which managed to become a talking point for the Hindi speaking audiences last year, is now on the verge of a legal storm.

Format owner Endemol International, which owns the internationally-renowned format Big Brother, which was adapted for the Indian audiences as Big Boss, has decided to sever ties with Sony.

Sony could not look at a renewal, according to sources, due to the heavy monetary commitment that needed to be made. It is now understood that Endemol India is using its driver format (Big Brother aka Big Boss in India) to clinch another volume deal with another broadcaster. The names that are doing the rounds are Viacom as well as NDTV Imagine which launched its channel earlier this month.

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