This is apparent from a recently made public decision of the Amsterdam District Court.
In the fall of 2017, the woman worked for television producer Vincent TV on the production of the Steenrijk, Straatarm program. In one of those broadcasts, the striking couple Frank Jansen (76) and Rogier Smit (47) performed.
Because the performance of the two extroverted interior stylists sparked a wave of enthusiasm from viewers on social media, the woman quickly came up with her own program for them.
In it, ‘Frank and Rogier’ would receive a few hundred euros, with which they would furnish the homes of less wealthy people with items from thrift stores.
Palace for next to nothing
Producer Vincent TV was enthusiastic, and quickly let the idea develop further. The woman and the producer agreed that they would jointly own the format rights and share the net income from them.
The producer offered the program to television company Talpa from John de Mol, who accepted. Talpa channel SBS6 broadcast the first season of Paleis voor een Prikkie at the beginning of 2018.
Talpa paid 370,000 euros in production costs for six broadcasts, but forced it to receive half of the so-called format rights in return. So for the inventor and the producer each 25 percent remained. Nor did Talpa itself have to pay the owners a format fee.
Paleis voor een Prikkie experienced four successful seasons, in which the creator of the program was briefly involved as editor-in-chief. At the end of 2019, Jansen and Smit switched to RTL.
That meant the end of the success, both for the program and for the presenters. SBS6 broadcast another season with a new duo, but the viewing figures were disappointing. The switch of Jansen and Smit was not a success either. RTL took the duo off the air last year after a relationship breakdown.
At the beginning of 2020, it became clear to the creator of the program that, despite the successful seasons, she had not earned a penny from the format. The production fee had been paid in full to the producer, and Talpa had not had to pay a format fee. There had been no format income from abroad.
A nasty fight broke out between the woman and the producer. In the first place, it canceled the exploitation agreement in August of that year. Partly as a result, the sale of the format to an interested German producer failed.
The woman also went to court, among other things to demand a series of compensations from Vincent TV of more than a quarter of a million euros.
According to the woman, the producer had given too much away in the deal with Talpa, and had not taken her interests into account. In the event of a loss of format income, she would be entitled to at least a percentage of the production fee.
Claims off the table
A recently made public ruling shows that the Amsterdam court has brushed aside most of its claims.
According to the judge, the producer was able to demonstrate that channels usually do not pay a format fee for as yet unproven television formats. And because they pay the production costs for the program and take care of the marketing and broadcasting, they can claim part of the format rights.
That is why, according to the judge, the producer did not fall short in the deal that was concluded with Talpa/SBS.
The producer did, however, make the mistake of pretending to be the sole owner of the format during its sales attempts abroad. Therefore, the woman was allowed to cancel her contract with Vincent TV, and she is entitled to compensation. However, the judge calculated that at a paltry 4,000 euros.
That is far from enough to reimburse the woman’s legal costs, which she says amount to about 65,000 euros.
Vincent TV’s legal director Hanneke Bannink declined to comment. “We have nothing to add to the verdict.” The creator of the format says he is disappointed with the verdict and is considering an appeal.