Scripted formats and gameshows are performing strongly in Asia for Banijay Rights, the distribution arm of Banijay.
“Grantchester” is a strong seller and the company licensed dramas such as “The Good Karma Hospital,” “Younger” and European titles locally to partners like Mola TV, says Banijay Rights EVP Asia Rashmi Bajpai. ” ‘Mr. Bean’ is an evergreen property, delighting children and adults alike, while physical gameshows such as ‘Wipeout’ and super-brands like ‘MasterChef’ dominate our sales chart,” Bajpai told Variety.
“On the formats side, big branded shows with proven sponsorship potential that can be shot in controlled environments — such as ‘MasterChef’ and ‘Big Brother’ — and small to medium-scale humorous gameshows with easy to understand game-play like ‘First and Last,’ also do well,” Bajpai added.
After the success of the Tamil-language “Survivor,” hosted by film star Arjun Sarja, in India, Banijay is in discussions to produce more versions.
“This format has been commissioned globally more than ever due to the nature of the show: the remote islands and isolation lend themselves very easily to a socially distanced world and ensures that the shoot locations are safe,” says Bajpai.
“Starstruck,” a new reality format which sees contestants transform into some of the world’s biggest music icons is one of Banijay’s highlights at Singapore’s Asia TV Forum and Market. Other highlights include Banijay’s biggest launch of the year, Janet Jackson documentary “Janet,” prison drama “Screw,” spy drama “Signora Volpe” and drama anthology “On the Edge.”
Among Banijay’s music and entertainment formats, “All Together Now” has tasted success in Malaysia and China and “Lego Masters” has been picked up in China and South Korea.
“There has been a surge in streaming platforms and an increasing demand from these clients, creating more opportunities for us,” says Bajpai. “We have secured deals for finished tape, scripted formats as well as format sales. We hope to strengthen our position in the region while working closely with these streamers on all three fronts. Meanwhile, the closing of linear services such as Fox, Star World in India, ITV Choice, NBC Diva and Sony has left a gap in the market which isn’t always matched by the business from the VOD services, especially with the termination of our life-of-series commitments.”
The hybrid nature of ATF does not pose any logistical challenges for doing business, says Bajpai. “We have and will continue to engage with our clients virtually until it’s necessary to do so,” the executive said. “The last 18 months have forced us to view the world and how we work differently, and it’s amazing how we’ve adapted and adjusted our working styles. For instance, meetings over Zoom seem completely acceptable as the new normal. Undoubtedly, these do not compare to meeting people in person — which is always better — and we hope 2022 will give us that opportunity.”