MIPCOM 2012: Digital Deals Becoming Key Part of TV Producers' Business

Fremantle Media Logo - H 2012

Fremantle Media Logo - H 2012

FremantleMedia, the production arm of Bertelsmann's RTL Group, unveiled several digital initiatives at the market, including one with Michael Eisner's Vuguru.


Digital deals are fast becoming routine – and revenue-generating - for TV production houses as key transactions at the Mipcom TV market in Cannes prove.

Take FremantleMedia, for example. The production arm of Bertelsmann's RTL Group, Europe's largest TV company, first thing Monday morning took the wraps off several new initiatives in the new media space.

The company has just inked a first-look deal for international rights with Michael Eisner’s Vuguru for that indie outfit’s original scripted programming. Arrangement allows FremantleMedia Enterprises to license Vuguru content across all digital, linear and home entertainment platforms outside North America beginning in January.

“This deal with Vuguru builds on and augments FME’s burgeoning digital strategy. New media studios such as Vuguru are home to some of the most exciting content and ideas anywhere in the industry and FME is one of the best-positioned and best-networked global distributors to capitalize on the creative and commercial opportunities that that presents,” said FME Global CEO David Ellender.

In another milestone for Fremantle, company execs said that Got Talent is now the world’s top entertainment format with more than 50 localized versions airing across the world. It is also on more top ten lists around the globe than any other show, according to figures from Eurodata/Mediametrie. Recent versions have just gone to air in Vietnam, Peru, Ecuador and New Zealand, with more to come.

Speaking at the breakfast Monday in Cannes, FME global entertainment development director Rob Clark told THR the series has been seen by 460 million viewers since its initial launch in 2006. Clark also said the company is developing the venerable Name That Tune format for the “digital age I-pod generation” as well as broadening out a test-run of a spinoff of the Idol franchise called Idol’s Kids, which has already “wowed” audiences in Brazil and Puerto Rico.