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Diving formats battle hots up as Fox buys Banijay show

The competition between Banijay and Eyeworks over their respective diving formats has heated up after Fox acquired Stars in Danger: High Diving.

The US deal follows Eyeworks inking an agreement with US broadcast net ABC for its format Celebrity Splash.

The two distributors have locked horns over the formats after Banijay said the Eyeworks format bore similarities to its own and recruited lawyers to examine the legal situation. Eyeworks vehemently denied the accusation in a strongly worded response.

In terms of sales Eyeworks has sold Celebrity Splash to ABC (US), ITV (UK), TF1 (France), Network Seven (Australia)  and TV Norge (Norway). It started out on SBS 6 in the Netherlands.

Banijay has inked deals for Stars in Danger: High Diving with Fox (US), TV2 (Norway) and TV3 (Sweden). It started out on ProSieben in Germany.

Fox will air Stars in Danger: High Diving in primetime and the US version will be produced by Bunim/Murray, which is part of the Banijay group. The TV total Turmspringen format was originally created by German producer Brainpool, which Banijay acquired in 2009.

In the show celebrities from different backgrounds given a crash course in diving under the instruction of America’s most elite professionals before facing their fears and taking to the high diving board.

Karoline Spodsberg, managing director of Banijay International said “It’s great to see our original diving format, which has been drawing huge audiences in Germany since 2004, heading for one of the biggest channels in the world.”