Endemol unveils global distribution operation

Combines Endemol Int'l and Southern Star Int'l

More MIPCOM news

LONDON -- "Big Brother" producer Endemol will unveil its bulked-up global distribution operation Endemol Worldwide at this year's MIPCOM TV market in Cannes, combining Endemol International and Southern Star International under the same umbrella for the first time, it was announced Wednesday.

Announcing a slew of new hires, EWD CEO Cathy Payne -- formerly CEO of "Home and Away" distributor Southern Star International, said the division would have offices in eight territories including London, Sydney and Hong Kong.

EWD will open new offices in Paris, Madrid and Rome this year and will expand to London and Miami in 2010. An LA-based acquisitions exec will also be appointed this year.

The division will open for business with a roster of 400 existing clients including broadcasters, licensees and producers, and will oversee 20,000 hours of content across multiple genres including drama, reality TV, game shows, entertainment, kids programming, animation and comedy.

Reporting to Payne will be Matt Creasey, overseeing the Americas, Asia and Australia/New Zealand, and Veronique Verges, executive sales director across Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Under chief executive Ynon Kreiz and chief commercial officer Tom Toumazis, Endemol has said plans to grow its distribution business -- in-house and third party -- are a key element of its expansion strategy.

Toumazis said the creation of EWD is "a transformational development" for the company.

"It creates an operation that is plugged directly into the resources of one of the world's largest production networks and which is capable of delivering a service that few in the industry can match," he said, citing Endemol's production offices in 27 territories.

"The new division will debut with a fantastic lineup of new Endemol shows and third party product this MIPCOM and we are looking forward to making a lot of noise in Cannes."

Under Toumazis, Endemol recently announced a third-party distribution and production deal with Jerry Seinfeld for his newly created comedy-reality format "The Marriage Ref" which will be distributed under the EWD banner at MIPCOM.