Zed enters TV arena with ‘Rico’

Reality show operates on multiple platforms

MADRID — Mobile content provider Zed Group is entering the TV production arena, teaming with Spanish broadcaster Antena 3 TV to create reality format “Rico al instante” (Instantly Rich).

Broadcast live Saturday primetime on Antena 3 TV from Jan. 10, “Rico” will offer the winner of the 30-minute contest Euro500,000 ($700,000), one of the biggest cash prizes on Spanish TV.

The show is produced jointly by Zed and film and TV giant Mediapro.

The production team will send outside broadcast units across Spain to search for five finalists, brought to their attention by SMS messages or social networking sites.

Finalists argue their merits live on camera, and viewers vote — by phone, text and online — for the winner.

“We are taking a leap into the dark with this reality show,” said A3 entertainment program assistant director Roberto Ontiveros. “This is the first time a (Spanish) TV show has integrated so many different communications platforms.”

“Rico” marks the birth of Zed TV, which aims to develop innovative content by combining the Internet, cell phones and social networking with TV production. The division is headed by Miguel Lopez-Quesada.

This reps Zed Group’s second incursion into the film and TV business. It also owns Ilion Animation Studios, which is producing the CG-animated alien adventure comedy “Planet 51,” a Stateside pickup by Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions Group, to be released in November.

Zed Group adapts and sells music, games and tones to 130 mobile phone operators in 54 countries, including the U.S. and China.

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