Television

Banijay Asia partners with The Natural Studios to explore action-adventure genre

The collaboration will see the businesses come together to create long and short-form content.

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MUMBAI: Banijay Asia and The Natural Studios have announced their partnership to bring high-octane content to the Indian and Southeast Asian markets. The collaboration will bring scripted and non-scripted content in adventure and thrill genre on television as well as OTT platforms soon.

Banijay Asia CEO & founder Deepak Dhar says, “At Banijay Group and Banijay Asia we constantly look at pushing new trends into the market. In the last 17 – 18 months we already produced almost close to 25 shows in this market. Now we are constantly looking at new genres and content and given the evolving content landscape, we have got into a new partnership with Bear Grylls’ company National Studios to enter the new genre which is more adventure and thrill-based content. We are looking at pushing a full slate of ideas under this partnership.”

The partnership will bring out both scripted and non-scripted content in the action-adventure genre. “Right now, the content landscape is changing so much with the SVOD players, I think a partnership with Bear Grylls in the adventure-thrill space will bring out both scripted and unscripted content,” informs Dhar.

With the new partnership, the company’s target audience would be youth. “Action and thrill content is something that the youth enjoys and it’s possibly for the SVOD space because a lot of youth are watching SVOD content. It’s a very organic fit and I am excited to develop content along with Bear Grylls,” he adds.

The group partnership is the first for The Natural Studios, a JV launched with Bear Grylls and Delbert Shoopman in October 2019. Combining Grylls and Shoopman’s expertise in the adventure space with Deepak Dhar-led Banijay Asia’s extensive territory knowledge, the united operation will create and build the high-octane genre in the subcontinent. With work already underway on a development slate of projects in India and Southeast Asia, they hope to announce their first green-lit title in the coming weeks.

The Natural Studios Co-CEO Delbert Shoopman comments, “Conversations with Deepak followed almost immediately after launching the JV. Together we all could see the potential of venturing into a new space in India and Banijay Asia’s knowledge and contacts have been invaluable in making it a reality. Already, the response from the market has been positive and we are all looking forward to working together to establish a new genre and original IP.”

“In 20 months, we have made Banijay Asia into a credible and creative content driver, which delivers high- quality content to clients across the board. The partnership with The Natural Studios came at the perfect time, as we look to create and bring new genres into the country and the region. Adrenaline-fuelled projects have been relatively unexplored with huge potential on the horizon, and with Bear and Delbert, we are confident we have what it takes to turn this genre into a must-have for buyers in Asia and around the world,” Dhar comments.

In a short span of 20 months, the content creation group has produced 25 shows -spanning languages, platforms and audiences across television and digital with 600+ hours of content and 14 shows on air and 8 in production right now.

Over the months, Banijay Asia has collaborated and devised strategic partnerships with the talents who are best in their business like Salman Khan’s TV, MS Dhoni’s Dhoni Entertainment Pvt Ltd, Group M’s Motion Content Group, Talpa Global and Wavemaker to create content across television and web platforms for Indian and South-East Asian audiences.

“Including original scripts and adaptation of international formats is always the first step to expand and create something new as well as unique. Additionally, building meaningful strategic alliances with A-listed talent to not only expand the business but also ensure a quality product. In addition to that, advertiser-funded programmes like the one with GroupM is a great step as it has the potential for massive revenue. We are looking at Singapore, Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand and Malaysia in terms of expanding,” says Dhar.

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