MIPCOM: Canada's Bell Media Teams With Mark Burnett, MGM For TV Formats (Exclusive)

Mark Burnett Headshot - P 2014
John Shearer/Invision/AP

Mark Burnett Headshot - P 2014

The joint venture includes Roma Downey, Hearst Entertainment and Highway Entertainment

Canadian broadcaster Bell Media has set up a joint venture with reality TV giant Mark Burnett, producer of Survivor and The Voice, and MGM to co-develop new TV formats for Canadian and international audiences.

Terms of the deal were not released, but the joint venture participants include Burnett's production partner Roma Downey, Hearst Entertainment and top media agency Omnicom Canada's Highway Entertainment.

Bell Media already has pilots for new formats in development and preproduction as part of the joint venture. "We are thrilled to partner with Mark Burnett, a pioneer in format television, and United Artists Media Group, along with Canada’s Highway Entertainment,” said Phil King, president, CTV, sports and entertainment programming at Bell Media in a statement while attending MIPCOM.

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CTV, a Canadian TV network run by Bell Media, and Omnicom Canada become partners in TV format and content development with United Artists Media Group, an MGM division with Burnett as its head. MGM earlier this year acquired a majority 55 percent stake in One Three Media and LightWorkers Media, the companies co-owned by Burnett and Downey.

CTV is looking to produce more original content for its broadcast pipeline, while Highway Entertainment will provide funding. "Phil and his team are the great collaborators. We’re looking forward to bringing these new shows not only to Canada but distributing them worldwide through our partnership with MGM," said C. Scot Cru, executive vp international strategy and business development at United Artists Media Group in his own statement.

CTV has produced local versions of international formats like the Amazing Race Canada, Masterchef Canada, Canadian Idol and So You Think You Can Dance Canada.

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