The new outfit will unite producers and buyers in an integrated hub that can fast-track commissioning and dealmaking, speaking to Heaney and Subhani’s unique strengths in navigating producer and buyer relationships.
BossaNova will also help to co-create shows by matching ideas to producers and pairing them with relevant platforms or broadcasters.
Heaney and Subhani founded factual distribution company TCB Media Rights, which started trading in 2012 as a two-person operation that grew to generate $20 million in revenues. TCB was later acquired by Kew Media Group in October 2017, which allowed it to expand an innovative distributor-led commissioning strategy that was mimicked across the industry.
Following the collapse of Kew earlier this year, Heaney and Subhani attempted to buy TCB out of receivership, but were ultimately unable to do so, and the company was acquired by distributor Beyond International in April 2020.
Prior to launching TCB, Heaney served as president and managing director of Cineflix Rights, which he started in 2002 and also built from a boutique operation into a major distribution force. Heaney’s CV also includes stints at BSkyB, where he served as commercial director, and Southern Star, where he was head of sales. Prior to entering the television industry, he worked in advertising and media sales for 15 years.
Subhani was one of the founding directors of TCB and played a key role in the company’s growth and management, overseeing accounts, marketing and financial planning. In her role as executive director, Subhani also steered TCB’s expanding marketing and events division. Subhani began her career in print and airtime sales, working for national U.K. newspaper The Daily Telegraph, regional broadcaster Yorkshire Television and several radio stations.
“We want BossaNova to be at the very centre as far as the ideas and shows we work with are concerned. Our intention is to be dynamic and agile with quick and clear decision making,” said Heaney. “Our ambition is to be a significant help to platforms that have specific content needs and producers that need all of the above plus endorsement, experience and co-development of ideas.”
“We will be talking to the buying and commissioning communities over the next few weeks and that will be the start of the benefit chain for indies. Obviously, we are a distributor but the term does not now wholly fit the role. These days it’s all about co-productions and collaboration in the most collegiate way possible. We will not succeed without buy-in from both sides of the industry and we intend to make this work for them and for all.”
Subhani added: “There’s a lot of uncertainty and fear as we stumble through the wreckage of 2020, but Paul and I have done our due diligence and we see a clear gap in the market. Call BossaNova what you will — distributor, agent, development platform, financier — but we believe this creative-finance model is what’s needed in today’s fast-moving world. We have listened to both producers and buyers so are confident we know what’s important to both, we hope we’re right.”