As the CEO of KI, what are some of your priorities now?
Alon: I’m a huge believer in the phrase, ‘Think global, act local’, when it comes to content. Content is a local business, people want to watch shows in their own language. We respect local talent and believe it should take the lead on the home ground. We see Asia as one of our biggest markets today and especially now as China and India are booming in the industry.
Homeland, which was based on our original drama Prisoners of War, changed American television. In America, there is a before and after of Homeland.
India has an amazing movie industry, and now TV is evolving to the Western style of storytelling which you see illustrated in Prisoners of War. These are stories that go beyond, romantic family-orientated series to tackle more sophisticated and challenging storylines.
What opportunities for growth do you see in Asia?
Alon: So the strategy in Asia is just like any other region, it is to invest in local talent, operations and teams. We see every region as a two-way street. We sell formats but we also source local IP. China for instance, is now exploding with creativity and producers are developing their own IP successfully. Since we have such a huge footprint as a global distributor, several producers have approached us to sell for them globally which is an honour. Obviously, we handpick the shows very carefully for different markets. Lately, we acquired distribution rights to a Chinese show produced in both Singapore and China, called Manbirth. In Singapore, it’s produced by Group M and telecast on Channel 5. We see Asia as a place with an endless source of content.
Is KI planning to produce in Asia?
Alon: The Asian market is mainly for licensing and co-producing at the moment. We are looking into expanding our production capabilities and I expect Keshet to have production outlets in India and Singapore (for South East Asia activities) in 2017, this is definitely on the table. We see KI as a vertical business with control over every element in the IP value chain. IP can be a TV show, movie or game and our strategy is to try to exploit as many elements as possible.
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Asian Television Awards
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