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Endemol to manage production of 'Laughter Challenge'

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MUMBAI: With the Indian television landscape growing at a healthy rate, companies from abroad are increasingly starting to look at ways to tap it. Format creator Endemol has set up Endemol India with Rajesh Kamat as its MD. This marks the 23rd territory that Endemol has a presence in.

Talking about this Endemol chief creative officer Peter Bazalgette says, "We are very excited to be India. We are thrilled to have Rajesh who comes to us from Star. He has a strong handle on television. In India new media platforms like broadband and DTH will take off. 3G will come in soon. Endemol is a multimedia company that creates formats, which are then exploited across different platforms. India offers great potential here. In fact I think that 3G will grow faster in India than it has in Europe."

As its first major project Endemol will work with Star on the second season of The Great Indian Laughter Challenge. While being tight lipped on details Kamat says that the show will see enhanced production vales. Endemol has also brought new creative ideas to the table.

Endemol also hopes to produce Big Brother in India. The company has 900 formats in its portfolio and this is one of its top properties. Bazalgette says that the show will appeal to Indian viewers as it is a real life soap opera. Both Kamat and Bazalgette, however, refused comment when their attention was drawn to a recent Biz Asia that quoted officials in Sony Entertainment Television Asia as confirming that it will be telecasting a localised version of the risque reality TV show. Endemol was in talks with a number of broadcasters in India in regards to Big Brother was all they would say.

Besides introducing formats in India Endemol is also hoping to take Indian formats abroad.

In the medium term, Endemol also hopes to enter the Indian fiction space. It has done crime dramas for European channels and also has a deal for telenovellas in Latin America with Televisa and Globo. As Bazalgette says, "I admire Indias strength in the fiction genre. We are not looking to teach Indian companies how to make great fiction. Our aim will be to look at how we can bring value to fiction through creative inputs. We might look at forming a joint venture in this regard."

India marks Enedmol's first entry post in Asia. The format major is also launching Endemol South East Asia which will be headquartered out of Bangkok, Thailand.

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