Banijay Rights has seen substantial growth this year, both from a content and financial perspective. “Our catalog now stands at more than 110,000 hours, and with a prolific pipeline of new shows across scripted, non-scripted and formats, and the ever-increasing demand for content globally, we have been able to grow our business exponentially,” says Matt Creasey, executive VP of sales, co-productions and acquisitions for the rest of the world outside EMEA.
“It’s been fulfilling to see these gains across all media: from the VOD space—whether it’s premium SVOD or the rapidly growing world of AVOD—through to continued appetite and partnerships in the traditional TV arena, as well as the continued growth of our self-publishing digital business,” he continues.
Premium content is in high demand across SVOD and linear television, and Banijay Rights is aligned with a talented group of producers worldwide who deliver on this front. Its deep catalog enables the company to have successful partnerships with key AVOD players, especially in North America and Australia.
“Our producers develop amazing stories, and from these, we find the right partners for that specific show,” Creasey says. The company works across an array of budgets and genres, “and partnerships are found based on the creative and writing,” he adds. The scripted pipeline from Europe in the coming months includes Germinal, a French period drama based on the Émile Zola novel; A Class Apart, a Swedish drama about a murder in an exclusive boarding school; My Ballerina, an Italian drama set in a dance school; Bonnie & Clyde, a Dutch crime drama; and The Store That Has It All, a musical comedy from Israel set in a department store.
From English-language territories, Banijay Rights is launching SAS: Rogue Heroesfrom Steve Knight, the prison drama Screw and, coming soon, Marie Antoinette for Canal+, written by Deborah Davis, and Chloe for BBC One and Amazon. There are also new seasons of Grantchester, The Good Karma Hospital and Peaky Blinders.
Diversity is key across cast, crew and producers, Creasey says, highlighting that buyers are focused on continuing to improve in this area. Shows such as Riches, written by Abby Ajayi, and Kudos and MadeFor’s Then You Run for Sky are examples of this.
Banijay Rights also boasts a sprawling format slate. “Before becoming one company, both Banijay and Endemol Shine were world leaders in the format business, so now it’s amazing to have some of the world’s most popular formats under one roof,” says Creasey. This includes Survivor, MasterChef, Big Brother and LEGO Masters, which “appeal to a broad, prime-time audience, and success gives buyers a great level of comfort,” he adds.
For MIPCOM, the company is launching Starstruck, a new series that sees ordinary members of the public transform into some of the world’s biggest music icons, alongside Drag Me Out, The Domino Challenge, One Night In… and Shop Well for the Planet?
Banijay Rights also has a bevy of factual, factual-entertainment, lifestyle and natural-history content to offer to the marketplace. “As with scripted, the range of content is fascinating and varied,” says Creasey. He highlights personality-led series such as the forthcoming Janet Jackson documentary event series JANET for A&E and Lifetime, Idris Elba’s Fight School for the BBC and SAS: Who Dares Wins for Channel 4.
Blue-light crime and medical series continue to deliver, with such highlights in the catalog as 24 Hours in A&E, Ambulance, Cold Case, First Responders, Murder Caseand Murdertown. Food and design also are strong performers, with Mary Berry series sitting alongside makeover shows such as Your Home, Made Perfect and its new spin-off, Your Garden, Made Perfect. The company’s formats lead to series that it then sells as finished tapes, and MasterChef has proven to be a popular acquisition.
“While content is increasingly retained in-house for emerging platforms from the likes of Disney and others, Banijay remains wholly independent, with the ability to work with any partner,” Creasey says. “We are platform-agnostic. And while this isn’t necessarily unique, with the size of the existing catalog and incredible flow of new content, it does allow for exciting relationships across the globe.”
There’s more growth on the planner, and optimism is high for the year ahead. “For us, as Banijay’s global distribution arm, the big hope in 2022 is for our teams to meet in person and return to seeing clients and attending markets and territories,” Creasey says. “Zoom has been, and will continue to be, a brilliant tool to communicate. But the ability to see people again will be a game-changer—it will inject new energy into the business that can only lead to exciting new business and relationships.”
See Banijay Rights’ Fall 2021 Showcase here.