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De Mol’s Talpa launches branded prodcos in Europe

John De Mol’s Talpa Media is launching branded production bases in the UK, Italy and Scandinavia.

The VoiceTalpa UK, Talpa Italia and Talpa Nordic have been established in London, Rome and Copenhagen, with Shed Media, Sony-backed Toro TV and Nordisk  Film TV the respective local joint venture partners. All three bases will produce formats such as Utopia, Dating in the Dark, The Voice (left) and The Winner Is… in their markets for local broadcasters.

In the UK, Warner Bros.-owned Shed, whose subsidiary Wall to Wall already produces Talpa format The Voice for BBC One, is now the exclusive home for all Talpa formats following a deal with Talpa Holding.

Talpa International’s managing director Maarten Meijs said Shed was “definitely our preferred partner in the UK”, while Shed COO Claire Hungate added: “The diversity of Talpa’s offering fits perfectly with the diversity we have across our seven UK production companies, which span every genre from entertainment, to game show, to scripted series.”

Similarly, Talpa has a production agreements in place with Toro and Nordisk. In Italy, Toro produces The Voice for pubcaster Rai 2.

Toro’s senior VP and managing director Marco Tombolini said: “We’ve had a great time dating Talpa in Italy. Like all good relationships, it’s time to get a little more serious.”

John de Mol1Meanwhile, in Scandinavia, Talpa Nordic will be a JV with Nordisk and Banijay Finland. Nordisk already represents Talpa formats in the region and the formalised agreement will see continued growth of “one of the global industry’s most innovative and dynamic TV brands in the Nordic region”, according to Jacob Houlind, CEO of Nordisk.

“What we’re now doing in the UK, Italy and the Northern European countries goes a step further,” said Talpa Holding CEO Pim Schmitz. “Talpa will now produce under its own brand, and for us that’s an important milestone in terms of the company’s international growth.”

De Mol (right), the co-founder of Endemol, launched Talpa in 2007 and initially planned to build the firm through acquisitions, as with his previous global production venture.

However, after buying a minority stake in Russia’s Mir Reality, he changed tack and began launching JVs, which he sees as better value than acquisitions in the current international marketplace.

To this point, the only Talpa branded venture outside of its headquarters in Holland has been Talpa Media USA, which is producing Utopia for Fox.