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Discovery launches $3m Singapore pact

MIP NEWS: Discovery Networks Asia and the Media Development Authority of Singapore (MDA) have announced the launch of a new partnership and two initiatives worth US$3.2m.

Covering 40 hours of factual and lifestyle programming over the next two years, the factual initiative will concentrate on Asian themes related to engineering, science and technology, while the lifestyle slate (including travel, dining, health) is expected to be more globally relevant. Both initiatives are open to foreign production talent via Singaporean production companies.

“The new partnership is an extension of Discovery’s and the MDA’s commitment to create both factual and lifestyle-related content that is influenced by Asian cultures and themes with both global relevance and appeal,” said James Gibbons, senior vp for programming and creative services, Discovery Networks Asia.

“These new initiatives will not only provide the local production community with opportunities to produce quality programming, but Discovery’s network of channels will also offer them a platform on which to reach a global audience,” he added.

This is the second coproduction partnership between DNA and the MDA, following the Documentary Director’s Chair (DDC) launched in 2003. The DDC was originally set up to identify and nurture local talent and help to create more original and high quality made-in-Singapore content for an international audience.

The annual initiative has already generated Gourmet China (formerly Edible Histories), a documentary by last year’s DDC winner, Lee Thean-Jeen, to premiere on Discovery Channel across Asia-Pacific later in May.

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