23 NOV 2020

VERONIQUE VERGES: “BANIJAY RIGHTS’ PORTFOLIO HAS SOMETHING FOR EVERYONE”

The SVP Latin America and US Hispanic, Finished Programmes at Banijay Rights, explains what has changed in the company after the acquisition of Endemol Shine Group.

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Veronique Verges, SVP Latin America and US Hispanic - Finished Programmes at Banijay Rights

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On July, Banijay announced the completion of the acquisition of Endemol Shine Group, previously co-owned by The Walt Disney Company and funds managed by affiliates of Apollo Global Management. The closed deal saw the French-headquartered group scale up significantly to approximately 200 entities across 22 countries. Veronique Verges, SVP Latin America and US Hispanic - Finished Programmes at Banijay Rights, explained to Señal News what has changed after the acquisition.

- What does it mean for Banijay to have added the Endemol Shine structure?
“The acquisition by Banijay has created an immediate jump in the scale of the business with the number of production companies increasing from 16 to 22 territories, and the catalogue jumping from 22,000 hours to 88,000 hours and counting. The combined catalogue landmark brands include ‘Survivor,’ ‘Big Brother,’ ‘MasterChef,’ ‘Temptation Island,’ ‘Grantchester,’ ‘Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,’ ‘Deal or No Deal,’ ‘Versailles,’ ‘Biggest Loser,’ ‘Home and Away,’ ‘Money Drop,’ ‘Peaky Blinders,’ ‘Mr Bean,’ and ‘Black Mirror,’ among others”.

- How much did the strategy change with the merger with Endemol?
“Because both companies previously had the same focus on producing and distributing high-quality content, it does not feel like a major strategy change. The scale on which it is done is the real change. Specifically for Latin America, the merger has strengthened Banijay’s position in the region adding the production companies in Mexico and Brazil. Whilst most of the Banijay Rights team are based in London, our Latin American sales team is closer to the ground and work out of in Miami. In that sense, the strategy change will be an increased focus on productions”.

- How is the production area structured now with the houses of the region (Boomdog / Endemol Brazil)?
“As Banijay did not have production houses in the region, Boomdog and Endemol Shine Brazil fill in that role across and further step the production activities in the US Hispanic, Mexico and Brazil, but also across pan-Latin America with the streamers and pay broadcasters. We also sharply increased our format licensing activities in the territories where there are no production entities. The creation of hubs for certain IPs which land themselves to such economy of scale, are further enhanced for our production entities”.

- What business models work best for Banijay in terms of production and distribution?
“We are very flexible, but we always focus on making sure that our IPs travel in as many regions as possible. All our production entities bring new IPs or variations of them through clever adaptations for their market and our formats keep evolving and refreshing as a result. We are also very set on ensuring that we retain finished program distribution rights past the stage of production and format licensing. Secondary, exploitation is key to bringing revenues back into our group and therefore fuelling further expansion”.

- What are Banijay’s main goals for the rest of 2020 and 2021?
“We have increased enthusiasm and energy and really it is a simple agenda of producing more, licensing more, selling more. Banijay Rights represents a world-class, multi-genre portfolio with something for everyone. Our pipeline for 2021 is already strong. New programming coming through includes titles such as ‘Viewpoint,’ Norwegian drama ‘Wisting,’ the drama ‘RFDS: Royal Flying Doctors Service’ and unscripted formats ‘LEGO Masters’ and ‘Survivor’”.

By Federico Marzullo