TVFI sales to Middle East; Prime Video expands Nigeria investment

TVF International locks numerous sales for MENA

Factual distributor TVF International has confirmed a raft of sales to broadcast platforms in the Middle East and North Africa.

MENA-wide broadcaster BBC News Arabic has picked up Channel News Asia’s (CNA) award-winning series Disease Hunters (3 x 48 min.), the BBC commission Super Tunnel (9 x 60 min.), as well as Lost Pyramids of the Aztecs (2 x 50 min.), originally broadcast on Channel 4 in the UK and Discovery Science in Canada. Also included in the package was the long-running travel series No Luggage (184 x 29 min.), from Bulgarian channel Diema and national pubcaster BNT.

The BBC’s Farsi service BBC Persian, meanwhile, sprung for a number of environmental and science titles, including Climate for Change (4 x 48 min.), which was originally produced for CNA; How to See a Black Hole: The Universe’s Greatest Mystery (1 x 44 min.), produced by Windfall Films for the BBC and Smithsonian Channel; and, from Thomas Lucas Productions, The Search for Habitable Planets and Birth of Planet Earth (both 1 x 50 min.).

Dubai-based multi-territory broadcaster OSN has licensed a package that includes My Perfect Family (37 x 29 min.) from New Zealand’s Attitude Pictures, which spotlights children with mental and physical disabilities who live their lives to the fullest; and wildlife conservation series Eco-Heroines (8 x 52 min.), originally broadcast in France on TF1 subsidiary Ushuaïa TV.

Rounding out the sales, US-based, Arabic-language MENA broadcaster Ulhurra picked up series 13 of tech show Innovation Nation (13 x 22 min.), while the Al Jazeera Documentary Channel acquired a package that included Rain: The Untold Story (3 x 60 min.), which previously broadcast on the BBC in the UK and TG4 in Ireland, and gaming docuseries The E-Sports Revolution (pictured, 5 x 48 min.), among other titles.

“Off the back of a record-breaking year for MENA, I am delighted to have been able to bring a wide selection of titles to these broadcasters,” TVFI sales executive Daniyal Bari said. “MENA is proving to be a really exciting landscape, and I look forward to seeing new titles find their homes in the Middle East.”

NBCUniversal Formats licenses Hollywood Game Night to Serbia

NBCUniversal Formats has licensed Hollywood Game Night to Serbia’s TV Una, marking the 24th international version of the format.

Created by actor/producer Sean Hayes and producer Todd Milliner, and hosted in its original US incarnation by Jane Lynch, the reality competition pits two four-person teams, each composed of three celebrities and one contestant, against each other in a series of parties games and pop quizzes. In the fifth and final round, the non-celebrity participant on the team with the most points walks away with a cash prize.

The Serbian version of the format, which will be known locally as Hollywoodwill be hosted by actor Nikola Đuričko, who recently came to international attention for his recurring role in season four of Netflix’s Stranger Things.

Previous territories that have picked up the format include the UK, France, French Canada, Greece, Hungary, Spain, Iceland, Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam.

Amazon Prime Video ups Nigeria investment, launches local version of LOL

Prime Video is increasing its investment in Nigeria with the announcement of local Amazon Originals for the territory, including a new adaptation of the popular comedy format LOL.

The Nigerian version of the reality competition, to be titled LOL: Last One Laughing Naija, will pit 10 Nigerian comics against each other to see who can win by keeping a straight face the longest, while simultaneously trying to make their opponents lose by cracking them up. Produced by Lagos-based prodco Livespot360, and hosted by the comedian and entertainer known as Basketmouth, the show will launch worldwide on Prime Video in 2023.

The news comes as Prime Video launches its first locally developed marketing campaign for Nigeria, which was made by Nigerian production crews and agencies and with Nigerian talent. Viewers in the country can now sign up for the streaming service using the local currency, naira.

“We’re delighted to be increasing our investment in Prime Video for customers in Nigeria, making it a truly localized experience,” Josh McIvor, director of international expansion for Prime Video, said in a release. “From local payment and a full-scale local marketing campaign, to more local content specifically for Nigerian customers, our investment in Nigeria is a significant step towards our broader expansion plans in Africa and our ambition to be the most local of global streaming services. “

Beyond Rights speeds up FAST plans with OTTera deal

Beyond Rights has linked up with digital content distributor OTTera to support Beyond’s developing FAST strategy, which will see a suite of both branded and IP-led FAST channels launched around the globe over the coming months.

LA-based OTTera specializes in highly customized OTT services to support the monetization of content across a range of digital platforms. The company manages over 80 OTT services and more than 200 channels, with more than 100 million users worldwide.

“We are excited to work with OTTera to further develop our business in the digital space and create ever more direct touchpoints with consumers over time,” David Smyth, CEO of Beyond Rights, said in a release. “OTTera has an excellent track record for successfully managing and monetizing content, so we know we are in very good hands. We are keen to see how this new partnership progresses and how it can benefit the evolving Beyond Rights business, as well as the wide range of content creators with whom we work.”

With files from Justin Anderson

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