ITV inks output deal with Chinese VOD provider

CANNES — A Chinese version of Shine’s “MasterChef” is being cooked up.

In another sign of the growing importance of China to Western media companies, Shanghai Media Group is to produce the competition for its Dragon TV.

Deal for the 12-part, 90-minute skein, unveiled at MipTV on Tuesday, was brokered by Shine Network prexy Mark Fennessy and Betty Chen, Shine Intl.’s director of legal and business affairs.

Show will broadcast this year with production consultancy provided by Shine.

Fennessy said, “In launching this extraordinary series into the vibrant Chinese market it’s a case of the right time with the right partner.”

Bowing in the U.K., “MasterChef” is now produced in more than 30 countries and aired in more than 200. Recent launches include Malaysia, Peru and South Africa.

“MasterChef” has generated in excess of $270 million in global retail revenue via merchandising and live events.

Meanwhile, ITV Studios Global Entertainment has signed a multi-year output agreement with Chinese VOD provider Joy.cn for some 140 hours of content including the “Titanic” skein and the U.S. version of “Prime Suspect.”

Augustus Dulgaro, the shingle’s senior VP of Asia Pacific, said, “Many audiences in China are watching more content online then they do via traditional TV. With the appetite for British and U.S. programs continuing to grow, this deal is a natural step for us in the region.”

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