Matchmaker

Cultural similarities between Europe and Asia might not immediately spring to mind but it’s a curious aspect of the global television trade that such differences don’t always preclude co-production or programme sales. Amanda Groom managing director of the Bridge delivers a fast track to Asian advantage, delivering global digital and traditional media access and implementation across Asia. She has already successfully built and delivered innovative Pan-Asian / UK / US global co-production models for NGW, NGCI, DNI, Scripps Interactive Networks (including Cooking Channel and Food Network, EMEA) and, in the UK, with Channel 4 and S4C. K. Dass reports.

Amanda, what is your focus right now?

The real focus right now is with the U.K. and U.S. broadcasters who do not have Asian producers, and the Asian producers here don’t have to talk to hundreds of Americans or British producers because I am their bridge. I bring the ideas that will work so I’m a glorified matchmaker for broadcasters for television programme ideas and business strategy as a whole. I’m looking at how we can share development, funding and how I can get British broadcasters and American broadcasters to start taking Asia more seriously. Culturally they are panicking because their audiences are getting smaller and the places with growing audiences especially among youth with digital connection are all in Asia. That is where my model works because it’s not just cooking shows or lifestyle shows although those are the safe ones to start with. We’re also doing format exchanges. I’m looking at a lot of Asian formats and I’m thinking, ‘can I re-version them for the Western market and vice-versa so it’s a whole fl ow of business for both markets’. If you watch how CJ is working with Endemol Shine, that is sort of collaboration that I’m talking to CJ as well as others with other programme ideas. We know that audiences are very different but I don’t see anybody else trying to make it work on both sides. When I approach a broadcaster in London, the first thing I ask, “Are you prepared to share the rights because it is not going work for an Asian broadcaster?” I think the biggest attraction for British and American companies is Asia. This is where the growing youth segments are today.

What is the perception of the West coming to the East?



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