SYDNEY – Theater Red proves you don’t have to be a global powerhouse like FremantleMedia to produce gamers and reality shows throughout Asia.
Formed 18 months ago by expat Aussie Ian Hogg, the Singapore-based shingle churned out roughly 130 hours of programming last year and aims to up the pace this year with its first forays in India and mainland China.
Theater Red (named for a brand of West Australian wine) also sold the rights to about 400 hours of product, including 250 hours of Granada-produced docus and the BAFTA awards telecast.
Employing more than 80 people, the firm has offices in Singapore, Indonesia, Taiwan and India.
Its output includes dating show “Tease Me to Please Me” for Star TV in Taiwan; gamers “Run for the Money” and “Fotoplay” and reality skein “Human Resource” for Indonesia’s TV7; “Crazy Foreigner” (which puts expats living in Indonesia in unfamiliar local jobs) for Indonesia’s TransTV; and “The Editors,” a Singapore-based current affairs show in which newspaper editors from around the region discuss events for Oz pubcaster ABC’s Asia-Pacific channel.
Hogg spent years traveling in Asia when he worked for Australia’s Becker Group, and moved to Singapore four years ago to run a sports rights company.
He launched Theater Red with the backing of Paul Ramsay, an Aussie businessman who owns Oz regional broadcaster Prime and a health care group. Ramsay sits on the board, chaired by Brent Harman, a former chief exec of Prime.
“As Asian programming becomes more localized, there are opportunities for companies like ours, which bring foreign programming and ideas and expertise,” Hogg says.
Hogg is developing light entertainment projects for Star TV in India and looking to sell “Tease Me to Please Me” (which Theater Red created inhouse) to mainland China.