'Dancing With the Stars' to Get Local Version in Thailand

BBC Worldwide has inked a deal to take its format to the Asian territory from 2013.

LONDON – The BBC's commercial arm BBC Worldwide has inked a deal to take its international hit reality TV format Dancing with the Stars to Thailand.

The BBC has partnered with Thailand’s largest locally owned hotel brand Amari as part of the deal which sees the local format funded by advertising dollars from the hotel group owner.

The Thai series will be independently produced by MCL (Metine Company) and Kantana Group and funded by advertising.

It will debut January 2013 on Channel 7 with seven 90-minute episodes scheduled for production.

Amari will feature in ad breaks throughout the series and will have logo signage within the show.

Adding Thailand to the mix, there are now 43 local productions of Dancing with the Stars around the world across six continents.

Richard Halliwell, commercial director for Dancing with the Stars at BBC Worldwide, said: "We were really keen to work with a local partner using a funding model that has huge success in this market. Many of our commercial rivals have benefited with advertiser-funded models in Asia and we’re looking forward to creating our own success story at BBC Worldwide, starting with Dancing with the Stars in Thailand".

Commenting on the partnership ONYX Hospitality Group, owners of the Amari hotel chain, president and CEO Peter Henley said: "What better way to bring the colors and rhythms of modern Asia to life than through the medium of dance and music. We look forward to embracing Dancing with the Stars and introducing the energy and excitement of the show to our Amari guests and the Thai viewing public."

Dancing with the Stars is one of BBC Worldwide’s global brands and in 2010 was named the world’s most successful reality TV format in the Guinness Book of Records.

Local versions air in countries as diverse as Lebanon, Russia, China.

Season 14 in the U.S. attracted an average of 18 million viewers each night and in France the show is currently number one in its time slot with an audience of over 5.5 million.

The brand has also extended into live events, gaming and digital properties.