MIPCOM: Bell Media pacts with Mark Burnett, Omnicom for formats

The joint venture includes MGM's United Artists Media Group and Hearst Entertainment. (Phil King, president, CTV, sports, and entertainment programming at Bell Media pictured.)
10-31-11Phil King

CTV has already found ratings success with local format adaptations like Amazing Race Canada and MasterChef Canada.

Now parent Bell Media has tied up with global format king Mark Burnett and United Artists Media Group, a newly minted joint venture between MGM, Burnett, production partner Roma Downey and Hearst Entertainment to make TV formats and content for the Canadian and international market.

The pact includes local Canadian players like Omnicom Canada Corp.’s Highway Entertainment, which is led by Adam Ivers.

The partnership already has unspecified pilots for new formats in development and pre-production at Bell Media.

The tie-up was unveiled by Phil King, president, CTV, sports, and entertainment programming at Bell Media ahead of the top Canadian TV executive participating in a MIPCOM panel on TV formats on Wednesday.

Canadian broadcasters in recent years have looked to local versions of international TV formats like Canadian Idol, Big Brother Canada and The Bachelor Canada to drive ratings.

Locally produced formats like Splatalot and Recipe to Riches have traveled beyond the Canadian market, but otherwise has been slow to design original shows for foreign adaptations.