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Sparks Eccho launches format fund

Europe-based Sparks Eccho has created a development fund to incubate new formats.

The fund will provide seed financing for paper formats and existing ideas to get them to pilot stage and create a “sound business proposition”. Eccho Rights, the sales arm of the merged Sparks Eccho Group, will then take on distribution rights.

Sparks Eccho’s MD Nicola Soderlund said the fund would offer a “full service approach”.

Besides Sparks Eccho, Spain’s Zebra Producciones, Greece’s Kapa Studios and Imagic from the Middle East are all investors in the fund. All three are members of the Sparks Network format exchange.

A steering group from the investors will govern the fund and executive produce selected project. Formats will receive extra funding if they reach pilot stage.

There is no set criteria for applying, though the investors say it would “ideally support” primetime reality formats and long running daily shows.

“We want the fund to plug the creative hole that has opened up in the market,” said Soderlund. “Recently there have been few new formats coming through, and those that do tend to be from the big conglomerates. This fund will give other players the chance to see their formats on screen. We want to use the fund to create a world-class catalogue of successful international formats.”