The fight over ownership of the troubled Dutch television talk station Het Gesprek (The Conversation) is culminating in a court case. TV personality Pieter Storms is claiming €2.5 million of his former partners Frits Barend and Ruud Hendriks amidst claims that they “stole” his idea.
The amount is based on the estimated value of the channel according to the original business plan. Storms wants to be bought out of the venture, claiming to have been manoeuvred out of the company by his former partners.
The all-talk channel was launched on October 2008 as a serious alternative to the other commercial broadcasters. However, Het Gesprek is not performing along the lines put forward in the original business plan. Although the channel has reached almost blanket analogue cable penetration, viewing figures and advertising income are way below projections.