'The Voice' Producer Talpa Inks Reality Deal With China’s Tencent

Trae Patton/NBC
Talpa format "The Voice" has been a huge hit in China

John de Mol’s production firm will develop non-scripted formats for the Chinese online video giant

Talpa, the Netherlands-based reality TV group behind The Voice and Utopia, has signed a deal with Chinese online giant Tencent to develop non-scripted formats for the Chinese market.

The deal will see John de Mol-controlled Talpa develop reality shows for Tencent’s online video platform Tencent Video, China’s second-largest video platform in terms of monthly views. The first production is set to launch in 2015.

Talpa has already had some success in China with the local language version of The Voice being a huge ratings hit.

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"Over the years it’s been my experience that, if you have a well-outlined basic idea for a format in this genre, reality generates itself,” said de Mol about Talpa’s entry into the Chinese market. “I am therefore very pleased Talpa has the opportunity to work together with such a great company as Tencent Video to develop and produce an entirely Chinese show that will attract a vast audience."

Talpa’s newly formed Talpa Global division will supervise the Chinese project with Chinese group Dasym Orient, which facilitated the Tencent deal, assisting in exploiting the Talpa brand in the region. Talpa itself has been the source of takeover rumors recently, with several major media firms believed to be eyeing the company.

“It is our pleasure to cooperate with Talpa, one of the world’s leaders in TV program creation,” said Sy Lau, senior executive vice president of Tencent and president of its online media group. “We believe that our pioneering and win-win partnership will help meet the increasing demand of online video content in China, bringing more exciting viewing experiences to Chinese Internet users.”

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Tencent is by some estimates the world’s fourth-largest Internet company, behind just Google, Amazon and Ebay.

The group operates around a dozen online products, including an instant messaging service, an auction site, an e-payment platform and a microblogging service. The company has been expanding aggressively, moving into the busienss of online gaming and Internet novels and, just last week, setting up a film unit: Tencent Movie Plus.  

Twitter: @sroxborough

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