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NATPE: Keshet Int’l Amps Up Latin American Biz

Variety logo Variety 1/18/2017 Anna Marie de la Fuente
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Keshet International (KI), the global distribution and production arm of Keshet Media Group, continues to ramp up its presence in Latin America with the sale of various properties to the region and the launch of Keshet MX, its production office in Mexico City.

On the eve of NATPE, KI has licensed its new social experiment format “Boxed” to Globo Brazil, the country’s leading television network, and kid’s music talent show “Master Class” to Teledoce (La Tele), Uruguay’s top free-to-air channel, making this the first original KI format to be adapted for Uruguay audiences and the first ever Spanish-language version of the show. Produced in-house at Teledoce, the 26 x 90’ Uruguayan version will launch in late Spring; casting for the show is underway.

Underscoring its commitment to the region, KI recently set up a production office in Mexico. “A lot of pan-regional programming throughout the Caribbean is produced in Mexico because it acts as a hub for the Caribbean and Central America,” said Kelly Wright, KI Head of Latin America.

“From Keshet MX, we can reach across the entire Caribbean and we plan to do more of this. There is a lot of synergy in the region that we did not invent, but are benefiting from,” she added. Keshet MX’s first production was in Colombia where it produced an adaptation of Keshet’s international format “Touch,” for major retail company Exito – the Colombian Walmart.

Recognising the challenges Latin American broadcasters are facing, she noted: “Until now, they have been airing quite traditional types of programming, telenovelas and such, but change is needed now to compete with OTT services like Netflix who are shaking up the market.’

She added: “How we are dealing with content and how we are dealing with the multiplication of platforms are two of the biggest challenges the market is facing. However, with that change comes opportunity.”

Keshet MX will be looking to work with South and Central America as well as the Caribbean,” Wright said.

KI’s NATPE slate is led by its co-production with Telefe Argentina, the new prime time musical competition show, “Heart Beats,” which enlists the audience to select a winning pair of aspiring singers via a dedicated app and social media. “What we create with Telefe is not a co-production, but a co-developed format; Keshet distributes, Telefe produces and we are 100% creative partners,” said Wright, who notes that Argentina is “very up to date on popular formats from around the world, entertainment and celebrities.” “I think because they have such a variety of different programs, trends change fast and shows tend to last for only one season,” she added.

Produced in-house at Globo, “Boxed” will air on Saturdays as part of the channel’s long-running hit variety show “Caldeirao do Huck,” which reaches up to 18 million viewers and has been licensed to 114 territories by Globo Int’l.

Hosted by Brazilian TV personality Luciano Huck, “Boxed” seeks to resolve conflicts between two people who are placed inside a box while a trained mediator is outside to help sort out their issues. They are not freed from the box until the issue is resolved. “ “Boxed” not only entertains but also provides viewers with an opportunity to learn, identify with the participants on screen and think about how their experiences relate to their own lives,” said Wright.

Set in a music school, “Master Class” follows 16 young singers as they are trained by their mentors, leading artists in the music industry.

Created by Yoav Tzafir, Tamira Yardeni and Zvika Hadar and produced by Tedy Productions for Keshet Broadcasting, “Master Class” is the highest-rated talent show in Israel to date and a hit in territories such as Hungary, China, Greece and Slovenia.

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