ITV Chasing $40M In Unpaid Debts Over Talent Format ‘The Voice’ In China

Star China

ITV is aggressively chasing unpaid debts in China relating to the local version of Talpa’s The Voice.

The British broadcaster, which owns John De Mol’s Dutch producer and distributor, has revealed that it is “vigorously” pursuing £30M (US$41M) from Chinese company Talent Television and Film Co after a breakdown in the relationship between the two companies.

The Voice ran for four seasons on broadcaster Zhejiang, produced by Star China but ITV struck a deal with Talent Television and Film Co in 2016. It’s understood that the show never aired as part of the Talent deal following a breakdown in relations.

While ITV banked £37M of revenue and profit in 2016 relating to the four-year licence deal, it is now chasing the Chinese company for £30M in unpaid money and has taken back the licence for the show.

ITV’s full-year financial results show that it has posted an “one-off exceptional cost” relating to The Voice in China and has submitted an insurance claim in order to ensure that it gets back the money.

“Following a breach of the agreement by Talent as they had not fulfilled their payment obligations, we have taken back the licence for The Voice of China. ITV is pursuing Talent vigorously for the £30 million still due under the agreement.

“As discussions with the insurers and the claim against Talent are in progress, at this early stage of pursuing recovery, ITV is not able to demonstrate sufficient certainty for accounting purposes to be able to recognise a cash receivable at the year end. Accordingly, ITV has made a provision amounting to £27 million (£30 million net of £3 million insurance excess) against the Talent receivable recorded in our accounts in the year ended 31 December 2017. The cash received in future will also be treated as an exceptional item,” it noted.

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