One of the largest Ukrainian TV channels “1+1” and “Ukraine” in 2020 entered the struggle to buy the rights to the format of the American show The Masked Singer. Channel “Ukraine” won this battle, but “1+1” did not retreat.

The premiere of the Masquerade show based on a very similar Romanian format Mysteries in the spotlight, the rights to which were acquired by the “1+1” TV channel, was on October 3, 2020.

“1+1” managed to get ahead of the “Ukraine” channel, which has already launched an active promotional campaign for its project “Mask”.

After the premiere by “1+1”, the “Ukraine” channel announced that the Masquerade show illegally used all the key format elements of The Masked Singer format, the rights to adapt which TV channel acquired from Fremantle in the spring of 2020.

“Plagiarism bu the national broadcaster, which lost an open struggle to buy the rights to adapt a successful international format, neutralizes the principles of fair competition on the domestic market of audiovisual products, destroys the legal foundations of building a civilized copyright market and the international reputation of Ukraine as a country, in which broadcasters respect and protect intellectual property rights”, in the message of the “Ukraine” noted.

“1+1” TV channel noted that it is inclined to perceive the accusations as an element of the competition for the viewer’s attention.

“This format has significant structural differences from other costumed projects. A unique feature of this format is the confrontation between two star teams that compete for the right to guess the star hidden in a fancy dress. In addition, in the process of adapting the format, the “1+1″ TV channel implemented many of its own creative solutions in the project”, the channel notes.

“We do not quite understand the meaning of the claims. Like any other TV channel in Ukraine, we have the right to buy and adapt various world formats in Ukraine. In the statement of competitors, we are talking about a different format, but it is difficult for us to assess the similarity – while there is no product on the Ukrainian market with which we could compare our adaptation. Regarding the charges brought forward, we may have claims against competitors when we see their adaptation”, said the general producer of the “1+1” TV channel.

The “Ukraine” applied for the protection of its rights to the FRAPA (Format Recognition and Protection Association).

A report from FRAPA finds striking similarities between the two formats, which are estimated to be 73% identical.

Fremantle, Munhwa Broadcasting Corp and “Ukraine” TV channel continue to challenge the show of “1+1” and hold legal advice on sanctions available to them in Ukraine and urge “1+1” to return to production of the original version of Mysteries in the Spotlight.

After the premiere of its show “Masquerade”, it became the second most rated product in the “1+1” broadcasting network.

TV channels “1+1” and “Ukraine” are in the Top-3 in terms of TV-audience coverage in Ukraine.