After 19 Years Pasapalabra Sees It’s Final Curtain Call

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THE END of Pasapalabra, one of the most watched Spanish TV programmes. Credit: Facebook


PASAPALABRA is a popular Spanish TV quiz show, based on the original British format ” The Alphabet Game” after 19 years as one of the most popular game shows in Spain, a court ruling has ordered the programme to cease airing.

Pasapalabra first aired on Antena 3 in 2000. In 2006, a Pasapalabra jackpot of 2.190.000 € became the largest prize ever awarded on a game show in Spain, and the third largest prize ever awarded on a game show in Europe.

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In 2007, Pasapalabra moved to Telecinco with Christian Gálvez as host. Pasapalabra aired evenings on Telecinco, Monday through Friday.

What happened? This has not been a sudden dilemma, but to understand it, it’s necessary to mention ITV, the British channel which has the original rights to the television format called “The Alphabet Game”.


Several countries adapted this format in their own television channels, Spain being one of them.

‘Pasapalabra’ went on to become one of the most watched programmes on Spanish TV.

It seems the conflict lies in that Telecinco decided to stop paying what was stipulated in the contract for the rights of the adaptation of this format. Not only that, but Mediaset, a Spanish communications group created in March 1989 by the Italian company Mediaset., revoked the original contract and even sued ITV to return the amounts already paid previously, insisting that the program was one they created, while ITV assured that the rights belonged to them.


As expected, the British broadcaster responded by demanding the cessation of broadcasting of the programme and the amount of 14.9 million euros, which is the sum of compensation that the Spanish broadcaster had failed to pay for the broadcasting rights.

The judicial process has been extensive and yesterday (Tuesday) October 1 the final ruling was given. Concluding that ITV would receive compensation and condemned Telecinco to “cease immediately, being also prohibited to resume in the future, broadcasting, editing, production, reproduction, public communication, distribution, transformation and any and all other forms of exploitation, by itself or through third parties, of the program ‘Pasapalabra’.”





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