John de Mol’s Talpa Concepts starts Blue Engine deal in MENA

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John de Mol’s Marble Mania prodco Talpa Concepts has expanded its format partnerships model by striking a new deal with Blue Engine Studios (BES) for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA).

The agreement hands BES exclusive rights in MENA to formats such as AvastarsHunting SeasonA Quiz For YouHit The Road and Kids Buy A House, with shows targeted at both broadcasters and the region’s expanding OTT market.

Talpa struck a similar deal with Holey Moley firm Eureka Productions in Australia last month and also has agreements with Dok1 Media in Belgium, Satisfaction Group in France and Seven.One Entertainment Group in Germany.

“We’re excited to bring to the MENA region a new generation of premium content formats designed to win the eyeballs, capture the hearts and minds of Arab audiences,” said Ziad Kebbi, co-founder at Blue Engine.

De Mol added: “Clearly, the Arab media landscape is witnessing positive changes and a rapid expansion. Together with Blue Engine Studios, we’ll launch locally produced and culturally relevant compelling shows, up to international standards. I have been working with Ziad Kebbi for many years and look forward to renewing the cooperation.”

De Mol set up broadcaster and streamer firm Talpa Network in 2017 before launching Talpa Entertainment Production, Talpa Concepts and Talpa Distribution. That followed his earn out period at ITV Studios, which had acquired his former company, Talpa Media, in 2015.

Most recently, De Mol’s Talpa Network agreed to merge with RTL Group in the Netherlands to create a unified Dutch cross-media group.

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