US-based 3 Ball Productions has secured the US format rights to Belgian outfit Woestijnvis’ ‘Covid-19-safe’ competition series The Container Cup.
The original version of the show, which premiered on Belgium’s Vier network last month, puts athletic celebrities to the test against professional athletes in a variety of physical challenges – with all the action taking place inside two massive shipping containers.
The format is sold by Benelux distributors Primitives and was put together by Woestijnvis – which originated the reality-game show The Mole in 1998 – in six weeks specifically as an “exciting” and “noisy” offering that could be produced safely under Covid-19 restrictions.
During the run of the series, Vier’s average market share improved by 230% and within the first week, the format was optioned to Germany, France and the Netherlands, with further deals currently pending in Spain, Italy, UK and other territories.
The series was also designed to help support first responders and others during the pandemic, with athletes competing for the charity of their choice.
3 Ball Media Group’s Reinout Oerlemans said: “So much of regular life has been upended during this crisis and so to be able to find and act on the bright spots, as creatives, is extremely gratifying.
“We know athletes live to compete and that they haven’t been able to during the Covid lockdowns. We also know that audiences are clamouring for fun and exciting content that can feel inspirational.
“This show can rally the whole family around a unique and positive entertainment experience that blends serious athleticism with fun and feel-good humour – all done in a way that is safe and COVID-compliant for all involved, and culminates with a significant donation on behalf of the winning athlete.”