FremantleMedia’s master athletes powers into Sweden

MUMBAI: The dynamic FremantleMedia developed format, Master Athletes (Swedish title – Athlets) has sped off the starting blocks with a commission from the Swedish National broadcaster SVT. The 10 x 60’ entertainment reality shows sees competition and conflict as contestants endure intense fitness challenges, egos, injuries, tears and triumphs in their bid for glory. Devised by FremantleMedia North America’s Henrik Nielsen and produced by FremantleMedia Sweden, the Swedish version will launch on August 23. FremantleMedia will launch the format at the upcoming MIPCOM 2014.

Filmed in a custom designed arena, 24 amateur athletes and sports fanatics are placed in a team with a member of the opposite sex and prepare themselves for a grueling ten week challenge. The athletes live, eat, sleep and train together in the luxury Master Athletes Athletic Village. Relationships develop, alliances are formed and the intense battle begins. Audiences will learn about the contestants’ sporting backgrounds and watch as the athletes try to overcome the hurdles they face throughout the competition.

To win the show, the 12 teams must conquer ten disciplines: 60m Sprint, Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Put, Pole Vault, Archery, Free Climbing, 50m Freestyle Swim, 50m Crawl and Long Jump. Each episode sees the athletes tested to their fitness max as they take part in different events to qualify for the next episode. The top teams from the first two events leap to the next episode whilst the two lowest placed teams compete in a final head to head duel for the last remaining qualification spot. In a dramatic twist, the winners of the second event are also given the power to tactically decide which discipline is chosen for the duel. As the competition heats up, only the strongest team can survive and claim victory as the Master Athletes.

Magnus Karlsson Lamm, Managing Director, FremantleMedia Sweden, said: “FremantleMedia Sweden has enjoyed working with SVT on this exciting and entertaining format. There is so much more to being a great athlete than physical ability and this format really explores the mental edge and tactics needed to be the best. The intense challenges, sporting brilliance and competitive clashes make great viewing. We are looking forward to the premiere on SVT.”

Mathias Engstrand, Commissioning Editor Entertainment and Sports, SVT: “Developing this show together with FremantleMedia has been an exciting and fruitful process. The format triggers lots of emotions and the arena competitions keep the episode-tension on a high level right in the middle of the ongoing health and training trend. It's a man depending on a woman and a woman depending on a man. They win and lose together with blood, sweat and tears. It's sports and reality in a new and beautiful mix."

Master Athletes will premiere in a primetime slot on Saturdays and is hosted by Olympic High Jump Champion Kajsa Bergqvist, and Rickard Olsson.

As an added incentive to strive for glory, the winning teams each week are rewarded with training sessions alongside former national elite athletes. The Swedish version sees Christian Olsson (High Jump), Mattias Sunneborn (Long Jump), Lars Frölander (Swimming), Erica Johansson (Track and Field), Armand Krajnc (Boxing), Thomas Fogdö (Slalom Skiing), Anja Pärsson (Alpine Skiing) and Magdalena Forsberg (Biathlon) all passing on their expertise. 

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