Banff news: Zodiak preps expansion into Canada and Germany

Zodiak Media plans to expand into Canada and Germany, CEO David Frank said in a keynote address at the Banff World Media Festival.

Following his Banff session, How To Become a Global Super Producer, Frank told TBI that the Canadian and German expansion will take place this year. Production and distribution group Zodiak does not have a base in Canada and will use that to help bolster its US and North American business, which is a key area of focus, Frank said.

“We’re very keen to establish a presence here in Canada,” Frank said. “It’s a very important in the context of the way that we finance shows for global markets.”

Canadian producer Muse currently makes the US version of Being Human, which is on Syfy, out of Canada and Zodiak is keen to harness the funding benefits available to Canadian producers and their proximity to the US.

Frank said that the US is the single biggest opportunity for Zodiak. The company currently generates about 10% of revenues from the US and want to that proportion to increase. Zodiak has launched several of its shows including Wife Swap and Secret Millionaire in the US and will have another, unspecified, show on US network TV within a couple of months.

Zodiak’s production company Yellow Bird, meanwhile, has an offshoot in Germany, but that is unlikely to be the launch pad for the upcoming German expansion and might not even continue, Frank told TBI. He added that parent company DeAgostini’s plans an IPO for Zodiak are still on track. “It won’t happen this year and not next year, but could possibly happen the year after, in 2014,” he said.