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Endemol gains new ground in Euro TV

Invests in French Hubert, Swiss Bichsel

BERLIN — Endemol Developpement, the Paris-based subsidiary of Dutch programming group Endemol Entertainment, has taken over French TV producer Hubert Prods., while in Switzerland the Endemol parent company has acquired a 50% stake in Swiss TV production company Bichsel & Burger Medien, which will now be called B&B Endemol.

Endemol Developpement acquired 100% of Hubert, known for primetime ratings-winning gameshows “Drole de Jeu” and “Bigdil,” the French version of “Let’s Make a Deal.” Both programs are broadcast on TF1.

Hubert CEOs Herve Hubert and Vincent Lagaf, the popular TV personality who hosts both gamers, will remain in charge of the company for at least another seven years. Established in 1987, Hubert Prods. generated revenues of some $30 million last year.

Moving on up

The acquisition places Endemol among France’s top three independent TV producers.

In Switzerland, B&B Endemol’s first new project will be the Swiss version of the controversial “Big Brother” reality show, which originated at Endemol; it’s scheduled to premiere on Switzerland’s German-lingo channel TV3 in September.

B&B Endemol will also have access to Endemol’s catalog of more than 400 formats — one of Europe’s biggest collections — in order to develop tailor-made versions for the Swiss market.

Hannes Bichsel and Freddy Burger, who founded B&B Medien in 1991, have retained 50% of the company and will stay on as CEOs of the new group.

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