×

Southern secession

Oz prod'n house merges arms with Endemol

SYDNEY — Australia’s Southern Star is merging its light entertainment and infotainment activities into a joint venture company with Holland’s Endemol to be called Southern Star Endemol.

Southern Star will produce shows for the Antipodes using Endemol’s library of more than 300 formats, while Endemol will sell internationally all shows produced by the joint venture as well as Southern Star’s entire infotainment catalog.

With such shows as “Popstars,” Oz has long been a leading producer of infotainment and reality TV that’s currently taking the world by storm, most notably Endemol’s “Big Brother” format.

“We have been negotiating with Endemol for some time now and have great respect for the quality, diversity and creativity of their product,” said Southern Star executive chairman Neil Balnaves.

“With Endemol’s contribution of its formats, expertise and software applications, the joint venture will be a market leader. What also appeals is the opportunity to export Australian creative ideas in both light entertainment and infotainment programming through a major international company.”

Drop in indie demand

Like other Oz majors, Southern Star has been hard hit by the downturn in European demand for independent programming. It has all but mothballed its film activities, steeply written the value of its inventory and slashed staffing levels by 27%. Teaming with Endemol may give it more muscle in sales.

Southern Star has long been rumored to be a takeover target, with last year buzz centering on both Carlton and Endemol.

“We continue to talk to lots of different people about lots of different things,” finance director Ross McCreath told Daily Variety. “This deal is about diversifying to build up the light entertainment side of the business given the problems with selling dramas into Europe.”

More Biz

  • Bert Salke and Jennifer Salke

    Feds Looked Into Amazon Studios Chief Jennifer Salke in College Admissions Scandal

    Federal investigators looked into Amazon Studios chief Jennifer Salke and her husband, Fox 21 Television Studios president Bert Salke, as they conducted a sprawling probe of cheating in elite college admissions, a source close to the case told Variety. It does not appear, however, that prosecutors will charge the Salkes in the case. The Salkes [...]

  • Variety Cord Cutting Placeholder Cable

    Big Blackout Looms as CBS, AT&T Go Down to Wire on Renewal Talks

    A blackout affecting CBS stations in major markets throughout the country looms as CBS and AT&T executives go down to the wire on negotiations for a retransmission consent deal covering 28 O&O stations. The sides have sparred publicly during the past few days as 11 p.m. PT Friday expiration of the previous contract approached. AT&T [...]

  • Contract Placeholder Business WGA ATA Agent

    ICM Responds to WGA Packaging Lawsuit: Claims are 'Baseless' and 'Absurd'

    ICM Partners has asked a judge to dismiss the lawsuit filed against four major talent agencies by the Writers Guild of America as part of the larger war between agencies and the guild over packaging fees on TV series and movies. The guild sued ICM, CAA, WME and UTA in California state court in April, [...]

  • New York City NYC Placeholder

    CityFM Podcast Takes a Deep Look at New York’s Music Scene (Listen)

    First among the many projects listed at the beginning of New York Music Month in June was a WNYE radio show and podcast called CityFM that promised to “explore the city’s music culture, emerging artists and trends, and upcoming events told through the lens of what’s happening around the city in Summer 2019.” And while [...]

  • Live Nation Logo. (PRNewsFoto/Live Nation)

    Live Nation Confirms Placing Tickets Directly on Secondary Market at Artists’ Request

    Representatives for Live Nation, the world’s largest live-entertainment company and owner of Ticketmaster, confirmed that it bypassed conventional channels and directly placed thousands of concert tickets on the secondary market upon artists’ request, in an article published in Billboard. In a statement shared with Variety, the company acknowledged that it has facilitated the transfer of [...]

  • Costume designer Michele Clapton

    Costume Designers Fashion a Plan to Fight for Pay Parity in Upcoming Contract Talks

    The Costume Designers Guild Local 892 is gearing up to fight for pay equity in its 2021 contract negotiations with the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, establishing a pay-equity committee to raise awareness of the scale disparity between the mostly female CDG membership and the mostly male membership of the Art Directors Guild Local [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content