US network Fox unveils $100m international format fund

The Big Deal

US network Fox is launching a $100m unscripted format fund that aims to spot IP for the global market.

The initiative, which follows closely on last week’s pact between the BBC and NBCUniversal, will see Fox Entertainment and its in-house studio Fox Alternative Entertainment (FAE) identify unscripted formats that could work worldwide.

Rob Wade

The fund will invest in and develop internationally originated unscripted ideas, including reality-competition and variety series to dating and other genres for local broadcasters and platforms.

FAE will co-produce series selected by the fund with each series’ partner. Rob Wade, president of alternative entertainment & specials at Fox Entertainment, will be responsible for overseeing the fund.

Fox’s Big Deal in Ireland

The scheme comes after FAE’s recent success with variety competition format The Big Deal, which was produced for Ireland’s Virgin Media Television in partnership with Dublin-based BiggerStage. FAE created and owns the format.

The series featured Vogue Williams and celebrity judges including Boy George, and marked the channel’s most successful original format launch ever.

Charlie Collier, CEO at Fox Entertainment, said: “This fund presents us with the opportunity to continue identifying and curating formats that fulfil several key objectives: diversify our slate of owned content, expand Fox’s interests globally and better serve our platform partners.”

“Many of the most powerful series that have changed the face of television were unscripted formats that originated outside the US,” added Wade.

“With a deep well of undiscovered ideas across the globe waiting to be recognised, FAE stands ready to deploy this format fund to partner with local creators and networks to develop cost-effective and innovative, broad-based programming that, in success, will also benefit Fox here at home.”

FAE was formed in 2019 to oversee the production of Fox’s singing-competition series The Masked Singer, which is based on the Korean format. FAE also produces I Can See Your Voice, The Masked Dancer and Name That Tune, among others.

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