Burnett developing reality, game shows for Asia

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CANNES--Mark Burnett International has tied up with Asian gaming and entertainment outfit, Genting International, in a Singapore-government driven $20-million venture to develop reality content and game shows for Asia.

The new equity joint venture company, Mark Burnett Productions Asia (MBPA), will also distribute Burnett's existing library across Asia, excluding Japan and the Middle East.

MPBA is the first TV project for the Malaysian-owned Genting International,which is currently involved in building a S$5-billion (US$3.4 billion) resort casino in Singapore scheduled for a 2010 opening.

The new company will be based at the resort, which will also be home to Universal Studios Singapore.

Burnett has been speaking about his increased focus on Asia since July this year, when he announced "The Contender Asia" – the first version of reality show produced out of the U.S.

"We've been doing business in and around Asia since our company was founded and we've been looking at ways to do more in this massive market," Burnett said at MIPCOM.

The Genting deal, which took four months to deliver, was brokered by Singapore government agency, the Economic Development Board.

Burnett already has a partnership with Singapore-based production house Omnimedia for a Thai boxing version of "The Contender", although he said that the new collaboration with Genting was the first step in along-term strategy to expand in Asia.

"The Contender Asia", currently being shot in Singapore with the support of another government agency, the Media Development Authority of Singapore(MDA), is scheduled to air on Sony's action channel AXN in Asia by early next year.

MBPA will use Genting's resort facilities, which include six themed hotels and film-production facilities, for some of its shows.

MBPA will develop original TV shows for Asia that will be licensed for format productions around the world. The company will also hold the exclusive license to produce and distribute content to multiple media platforms, including mobile.

Content development details were not available.
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