DreamWorks Takes Legal Swing at Fox

DreamWorks Television and Mark Burnett Productions are suing Fox to keep the network from premiering its boxing reality show, The Next Great Champ, Sept. 10.

DreamWorks' and Burnett's joint venture, Contender Partners, have asked a Los Angeles Superior Court in Santa Monica to block the debut, claiming Endemol, producer of The Next Great Champ, and its partners, including Fox, have repeatedly violated California statutes governing the promoting of boxing matches in their "rushed and frenzied" push to get Next Great Champ on the air prior to similar show, The Contender.

"It would be terribly damaging to the sport, to our show, The Contender, and to all the participants if anyone were to profit from or gain an unfair advantage by breaking the law," said Burnett and DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg in a statement.

DreamWorks and Burnett are producing the competing boxing reality show, featuring movie star Sylvester Stallone, for NBC.

In response, Fox said: "We believe these claims are without merit. This is an effort to stifle competition by seeking an inappropriate prior restraint of a broadcast."

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.