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C21May iPad

Watch Next invests in Bien Content

L-R: Perrine Capron, Marc Jousset, Philippe Alessandri and Franck Ekinci

Watch Next Media in France has acquired a stake in Paris-based animation studio Je Suis Bien Content (JSBC).

JSBC will maintain a separate creative team from Watch Next, the company founded by Philippe Alessandri in 2015 after his departure from Zodiak Media, following the deal, financials details of which were not disclosed.

The agreement is initially for a minority stake, with a majority stake due to be purchased in 2020, C21 understands.

Both companies will soon share back-office functions, spanning IT, accounting, legal and international distribution, via Watch Next sales subsidiary Kids First.

The deal follows multiple partnerships between Alessandri and JSBC founders Franck Ekinci and Marc Jousset over the years on shows such as Sally Bollywood, Lili’s Island and Best Bugs.

Founded in 1996, JSBC is known for features such as Persepolis as well as series including Disney EMEA’s Boyster and the Netflix adult anime series Last Man. Perrine Capron is the company’s director of production.

Its 2019 line-up includes the delivery of Best Bugs (52×11′) for Disney EMEA and Roger (78×7′) for France Télévisions (FTV), as well as Nawak (78×7′) with FTV and Kiddy-Crunchers (52×11′) for Canal+.

Meanwhile, Watch Next’s first series, Nate is Late, has been sold to more than 100 territories including Pop in the UK, Super RTL in Germany, Clan TV in Spain and FTV.

It is currently producing I, Elvis for Canal+, TV3 and Cartoon Network EMEA; Boy Girl Dog Cat Mouse Cheese with the BBC and Gulli; and Best Bugs with JSBC for Disney EMEA.

“This partnership will allow Je Suis Bien Content to open towards the international market through Watch Next’s distribution arm Kids First and consolidate our growth,” said Ekinci and Jousset in a joint statement.

Alessandri, CEO of Watch Next Media and Kids First, added: “This partnership is the first step in Watch Next’s European expansion strategy, allowing us to expand our production and distribution slate while consolidating one of France’s main animation talent hubs.”


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