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The cost of formats

Nivedith Alva, head of development at Survivor prodco Miditech in India, tells C21 about the big issues facing the format business and what’s hot in his market.

Nivedith Alva

Nivedith Alva

What is the biggest issue facing the TV format business?
The biggest issue facing the formats business is that a lot of good formats are very expensive to produce in other territories. Not all territories have the same budgets and hence a show may work in a territory at a certain cost but another territory might simply not be able to afford it. Also, there is an over-dependence on formats being tested in Europe and America first, while formats that are first seen in Asia are not taken as seriously.

How has consolidation affected the worldwide formats business?
Smaller companies being swallowed up by bigger brands means fewer and fewer fresh ideas are coming on to the market. The big companies have a monopoly over how the market functions and hence control demand and supply to suit their own needs.

What formats or genres are hot and what are not in your market?
Reality formats are hot, as are big studio-based gameshows. Miditech pioneered reality programming in India with the series Hospital for the BBC in 2000.

Survivor India

Survivor India

What are the latest format sales and acquisitions made by your company?
We were recently on-air on Star Plus with the first season of Survivor India, which we licensed from Castaway TV in the UK. Apart from that, we are into production on the Indian version of the hit Sony Pictures Television talkshow format Dr Oz for Colors TV.

Among the other international formats we have produced in India are Idol, Sesame Street, The Perfect Bride, Poker Face, Deal or No Deal, Extreme Makeover, Fame Academy, I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Guinness World Records and Silent Library.

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