Off the Fence is opening a German office, COO Darrell James has told TBIvision. The factual production and distribution specialist has just secured two German commissions and will now open Off the Fence Deutschland, which will be run by Ralf Blasius.
Blasius, a former commissioning editor at German public broadcaster ZDF, joined Off the Fence fifteen months ago. Previously based at Off the Fence’s Amsterdam headquarters, he will open up shop for the company in Mainz, near Frankfurt.
It is about to deliver Grenzganger, 5x60mins wildlife series featuring Andreas Kieling (‘ the German David Attenborough’), to ZDF and is about to get two series away with ARTE.
Off the Fence has been actively opening up bases around the world in recent times. The German news follows the opening of a North American office in September. It also has people on the ground in the UK, Asia and South Africa.
Meanwhile, James says Off the Fence will enjoy its best year ever in 2009 with programme sales up 20%. The distribution business has been boosted by the company taking on various catalogues including those of Voom HD, WE tv and The Smithsonian Channel.
“When I joined in 2007 we had 1,000 hours and now we have 4,000,” James said. “There are other deals in the pipeline and we are scaling up – we’re consciously diversifying our supply and customer base.”