Banijay launches company-branded FAST channel in UK & expands Italian exec team

Gunpowder

Banijay is launching a general entertainment FAST channel bearing its name for the first time and has unveiled a new senior appointment in Italy.

The France-based group is launching Horizons: Powered By Banijay in the UK, marking the first time the producer-distributor has put its brand onto a FAST channel.

The service will dip into Banijay Rights’ catalogue of 130,000 hours to offer series such as Location, Location, Location, 8 Out Of 10 Cats and Pointless, as well as drama series Gunpowder and The Woman In White.

It joins Banijay Rights’ existing suite of 13 FAST Channels, including two UK-based services launched earlier this year, as revealed by TBI. Those services, however, were programme-focused and branded, offering drama McLeod’s Daughters and Deal or No Deal USA.

Shaun Keeble, VP of digital at Banijay Rights, described the branded FAST offering as “the perfect way to attract new viewers” to its content.

Distributors are becoming increasingly active in FAST channels outside of the US, where growth has been greatest to date. Earlier this week, UK distributor Cineflix Rights appointed an All3Media International exec to run its FAST strategy, while yesterday ITV Studios struck a deal with Whip Media to improve tracing of its shows’ performance on the channels.

Italian additions

Banijay has also expanded its senior ranks in Italy by appointing Vincenzo Piscopo as chief commercial & digital officer, with a remit to “explore new opportunities within the world of digital content and coordinate the commercial and digital activity across the Italian labels”.

Piscopo joins Banijay Italy following a decade-long stint at Ciaopeople, where he worked across branded video content and originals for Fanpage.it, The Jackal Geopop, Cookist and Ohga.

Fabrizio Ievolella, COO of Banijay Italy, said: “One of Banijay’s most important goals is to ensure that digital activities increasingly become an integral part of our core business. The arrival of Vincenzo will be a fundamental driving force in progressing further in this direction.”

The hire is the latest rejig for Banijay Italy, which named Fabrizio Ievolella as its COO and Francesco Lauber as chief creative officer recently, both reporting into CEO Paolo Bassetti.

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