'Karaoke' finds voice in Vietnam, Indonesia

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SINGAPORE -- The first local versions of Sony Pictures Television International format "Karaoke Showdown" will air in Asia at the end of this year, the company said Thursday.

Format rights to the music variety show, which originated in Europe, were sold to Vietnam terrestrial TV broadcaster VTV3 and Indonesian free-TV broadcaster Trans TV, SPTI said.

Financial details of the agreements, which are straight licensing deals with consultancy, were not disclosed.

This is SPTI's first format to go into the streets of the host broadcaster's cities to shoot, said Mary Chan, SPTI's executive director for Asia production.

Previous formats all were shot in the studio.

"Asia loves karaoke and everyone -- the audience, actors and celebrities -- is able to participate. It's very interactive," Chan said.

Both deals are part of larger packages, including scripted formats, being negotiated across the region, Chan said.

SPTI also has renewed "The Gong Show" on Trans TV for an additional 39 episodes, bringing the total so far to 52. And Vietnam's VTV3 has acquired 52 episodes of "Wheel 2000" this year.

SPTI has been stepping up its formats slate for Asia, including acquiring Asian rights to five games shows from the U.K.'s 12 Yard Prods. in September.

Taiwan, Vietnam and Indonesia are SPTI's top formats markets in Asia but interest also has been increasing in Malaysia, Chan said.

SPTI formats in Asia include shows like "Dragons' Den" (India), "Pyramid" (Vietnam), "You're Hired" (Indonesia, Thailand) and "The Gong Show" (Thailand, Indonesia), "That's My Stuff" (Indonesia), "Chain Reaction" (Indonesia) and "Fotoplay" (Indonesia).
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