Amid the ongoing consolidation of entertainment and pay TV giants and audience fragmentation, French TV production firm Banijay Group this weekend unveiled a mega-deal to acquire Endemol Shine from Walt Disney and Apollo Global Management and create a merged powerhouse, bringing together such popular franchises as reality TV hits Big Brother, Survivor, Keeping Up With the Kardashians, Wife Swap and MasterChef, as well as such dramas as Black Mirror and Peaky Blinders, among others.
With big industry players having boosted their scale via acquisitions, analysts say the merged firm will hope to use its broader portfolio to license existing hits and library titles and create new franchises. Enders Analysis founder Claire Enders told THR she sees the deal as “inevitable consolidation.”
Analysts see room for cost cuts and layoffs, as both companies have their own sales operations. But management will also hope to use the fact that executives at Banijay have past work experience at Endemol. For one, Banijay CEO Marco Bassetti served as COO, group president and interim CEO of Endemol Italy before joining Banijay in 2013. And his brother Paolo now runs Banijay Italy after serving as Endemol Shine Italy CEO and chairman.
And Banijay, founded 11 years ago, has experience integrating acquisitions, as it has used them to become one of the world’s largest TV producers.
The combined company will have a lot of programming, including Endemol Shine dramas The Bridge and Broadchurch, that has traveled well or been successful at least in certain regions. Here is THR’s look at 10 big global TV franchises that the merged Banijay-Endemol will control.
Banijay acquired Castaway Television Productions, creator of the global format phenomenon, in 2017. The show, in which a group of people compete for the right to stay on an island until everyone else has been voted or forced off, has seen at least 55 adaptations, with the company calling it “the world’s most successful adventure show.” Last year, the company even launched an international YouTube channel for the format.
Endemol Shine’s Big Brother has remained a global franchise, locking people into houses filled with cameras worldwide. While Viacom-owned U.K. network Channel 5 recently dropped the show, it has been produced in 64 territories and seen in more than 120 countries.
The Banijay reality format, which documents how families cope with the cultural and social differences a woman brings when standing in for their usual wife/mother, has been running for more than 15 years, with successful celebrity spinoffs too, and has seen a global resurgence. This year has seen the show return in several countries, including the U.S. and Australia, while remaining popular in Eastern Europe.
The reality hit, in which several couples agree to live with a group of singles of the opposite sex in order to test the strength of their relationships, has played in around 20 markets around the world. A scheduling staple in Sweden, in the U.S. the Banijay show returned this year on USA Network.
One of Endemol Shine’s big hits, the cooking competition show has aired in around 60 countries and seen various spinoffs or special versions. In Britain, there are four versions of the show: the core MasterChef series, MasterChef: The Professionals for working chefs, Celebrity MasterChef and Junior MasterChef for children.
Deal or No Deal
The Endemol game show featuring cases containing randomly assigned sums of money sees players being offered an amount of money or prizes to quit and being asked the famous question “Deal or no deal?” Its popularity and global appeal has meant dozens of versions around the world.
Banijay’s iconic adventure game show, filmed on the real fortress of the same name in France, has been in continuous production for about 30 years, with at least 30 adaptations around the world, including a recent move into Finland and a comeback in Germany.
Keeping Up With The Kardashians
Banijay got its hand on the format, which has made the Kardashian–Jenner clan famous around the globe, when it acquired production firm Bunim-Murray in 2010. The E! staple debuted in 2007, with the 17th season having premiered this September.
Endemol Shine is also bringing its drama chops to Banijay. The Cillian Murphy-starring series about a crime family in Birmingham, England in the aftermath of World War I has been a hit on the BBC in Britain and for Netflix.
Another Endemol contribution that the merged company will be proud of is Charlie Brooker’s hit science fiction anthology Black Mirror, which debuted on Channel 4 in Britain before Netflix acquired it in 2015, bringing it to new audiences globally.