WGA action will benefit Euro company

A prolonged U.S. writers strike will benefit European entertainment production giant Endemol, the company’s CEO predicted Tuesday.

Speaking at the European Media Leaders Summit in London, Endemol topper Aat Schouwenaar said he believes U.S. networks will order extra episodes of nonscripted fare if the strike lasts.

“It gives us more opportunities because these timeslots are now available,” he added. “They are doing lots of reruns at the moment, but, at a certain time, they will finish. If the strike continues for a couple of months, it will definitely have a positive impact on our numbers because they will need more episodes of things like ‘Deal or No Deal.’ “

The chief exec, who rejoined the company last summer after co-founder John de Mol and Silvio Berlusconi’s broadcast group Mediaset bought it from Spanish telco Telefonica, said Endemol is in the market to acquire other companies.

“Over the past seven years, the strategic fit between Endemol and Telefonica was close to zero,” he said. “It was very important for Endemol to be a more or less independent company. I think that now Endemol is ready to grow again.”

The CEO added: “We have acquisition funds, which we haven’t had for a few years. We have a common strategic objective with shareholders to grow the business.”

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