Banijay announces the appointment of HBO Europe alumni Steve Matthews as Content Partnerships Executive in order to bolster its scripted department. Matthews will report to the recently announced Global Head of Scripted, Christian Wikander.
Marco Bassetti, Chief Executive Officer, Banijay comments: “Scripted very much remains an area in which we want to grow our business, and over the past few years, we have really focused on nurturing a solid premium pipeline, further building our position reputationally in the market. Through organic growth and M&A, we will continue to strengthen our capabilities in this arena, and in Steve, we have vast amounts of knowledge, and hands-on experience, which will be invaluable as we continue to expand our portfolio.”
In the newly devised role, which commences on 1 February, Matthews will act as a key facilitator in the group’s production development process, supporting in driving co-production opportunities across the Nordics, Spain, and beyond, and generally building out the business’ pipeline and creative partnerships primarily across drama.
Steve Matthews comments: “Banijay has an impressive collection of scripted labels and some of the most anticipated and enjoyed titles in the world. Both locally and internationally, it has carved a name for itself as a go-to for quality and creativity. It will be great to be reunited with Christian in continuing to spur on the group’s catalog potential and support its fantastic talent in taking even more shows from development to commission worldwide.” Matthews joins the 22-territory organization from HBO Europe, where he most recently served as VP, Executive Producer, Scripted, having joined the business back in 2014.
Banijay's Endemol France has acquired a majority stake in Puzzle Media, a production entity specialising in action, adventure, and alternative culture. The deal sees the Banijay France-owned label expand its development potential in the sports space, particularly in digital and non-linear.
Jean-François Rubinstein, COO, Endemol France comments: “We are proud to partner with Jonathan Politur who is a recognised producer in the world of sport. Growing in this area, as well as strengthening our digital presence are major priorities for Endemol France, and with Puzzle Media, we have found the ideal partner to accelerate both. It could not be better timing with the Paris 2024 Olympic Games ahead.”
Jonathan Politur, Founder of Puzzle Media comments:"It is an honour to partner with a company like Endemol France. This association will allow us to develop our brands in the world of sport and bring together a young and passionate audience. The business can also bring more exposure to our portfolio and via the wider group of Banijay, we anticipate there being more opportunity to reach new broadcasters and platforms in France and beyond.”
Puzzle Media was created in May 2007 by Jonathan Politur. In just a short time, it has grown to be the first French production company to deliver extreme and board sports content in high volume, with top titles including Riding Zone, which has broadcast every weekend for 14 years on France Télévisions. Alongside its extreme sports portfolio, Puzzle Media also develops and produces a range of other content, with daily drama, "L'Amour à l’Epreuve", having only just launched on France Télévisions.