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Fitness Star Jillian Michaels Files $10 Million Claim Against Lionsgate Over YouTube Channel

Fitness Star Jillian Michaels Files 10 Million Claim Against Lionsgate Over YouTube Channel Variety


Jillian Michaels, the fitness trainer and former host of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” reality show, has accused Lionsgate of failing to compensate her for videos the studio posted to its YouTubefitness channel — to the tune of $10 million.

A Lionsgate spokesman declined to comment.

“Despite receiving millions of dollars in revenue from YouTube, and half of all views on the YouTube BeFit channel relation to Ms. Michaels’ Lions Gate (videos), Ms. Michaels has not received any compensation whatsover,” the complaint said.

Michaels is alleging Lionsgate is in breach of her 2007 deal with the studio, under which she is entitled to a certain percentage of home-video gross revenue. YouTube paid Lionsgate $5 million to create BeFit, according to the complaint, and also pays a share of ad revenue generated by the channel.

Lionsgate’s BeFit, launched in 2012, has generated more than 200 million views to date and has more than 1.5 million subscribers on YouTube. According to Michaels, Lionsgate did not consult her before they used her image and brand on the channel, and exceeded the number of videos posted to YouTube allowable under her contract.

In her complaint, Michaels alleged that the BeFit channel on YouTube “has cannibalized sales of the Lions Gate Pictures (videos) from which Ms. Michaels would have received a royalty.”

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This is an important case, because a lot of celebrities are putting their videos on YouTube with the blessings of their studios, and it's unclear how the compensation should be divided.

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