Banijay sets up international sales arm

Nordisk's Spodsberg to head division

Stephane Courbit’s Paris-based Banijay Ent. Group has created a worldwide distribution division, Banijay Intl., and tapped Karoline Spodsberg, currently Nordisk Film TV World international director, as its managing director.

Banijay Intl. will be based out of Paris and Copenhagen, staffed by Nordisk Film TV World and Banijay Ent. distribution execs.

A powerful new entrant on the international TV scene, Banijay Intl. will sell formats and programming from Nordisk Film TV World, the other companies in its group, and third-party pick-ups.

Banijay Intl.’s first sales slate in the run-up to mid-April’s Mip TV features “The Missionaries,” tapped from French broadcaster TF1, and two Nordisk formats, “71 Degrees North” and “My Big Fat Parents.”

The creation of Banijay Intl. answers one of the biggest questions hanging over Banijay — whether it would sell its own product, or license rights to a third party.

The purchase last October of Nordisk Film TV World, which has seen significant success in international sales, has given Banijay a base to build on.

“North” was sold by Nordisk at last April’s Mip TV to Dave Broom’s 25/7 in a U.S. format deal; its “2900 Happiness” and “My Big Fat Parents” were buzz titles at October’s Mipcom.

Banijay can be expected to make more acquisitions — of companies and formats.

A pan-European TV powerhouse, also owning U.K.’s ZigZag, Spain’s Cuarzo, France’s Air Prods, ALJ Production, Depeche Prod. and Jes Prod., as well as Russia’s Intelegencia, Banijay has also inked a co-development deal with L.A. based Angel City Factory.

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