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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ninja Warrior Europe Announced

Ninja Warrior Opening

In the past few days with the excitement of Sasuke 28 finally being announced after a loooooong year of despair and rumors of it's demise, more unexpected news came out .. from Europe!  I got a tweet from one of my UK friends about an article that had come out on October 1st in an industry website. Right from the title I was excited:

Ninja Warrior travels to Europe from Japan's TBS.
by Stewart Clarke/October 1, 2012
(Highlights from Article)

Japanese free-to-air broadcaster TBS will launch its Ninja Warrior format at MIPCOM. The series, which challenges contestants to the complete the world’s toughest obstacle course, has already launched in the US and Asia. Ludo Poppe’s Eccholine will be working with TBS on the Japanese launch. Poppe is the former boss of Belgian prodco Kanakna. TBS and Eccholine, a division of Ecchomedia, will jointly market a European version of Ninja Warrior with TBS providing the rights and knowhow. Eccholine will be providing production expertise.

The partners said the plan includes a “mobile casting course” that will comprise nine obstacles and travel from city to city. The taping from each city will produce a week’s worth of stripped episodes culminating in a primetime show crowning the city’s champions.

Makito Sugiyama, chief of international program and format licensing for TBS said: “With Eccholine on board, we have found a way to bring the excitement of Ninja Warrior to broadcasters in Europe without burdening them with the complexity of this production.”

Japanese formats are in the spotlight at this year’s MIPCOM with a selection of the country’s largest broadcasters, including TBS, presenting their new ideas to buyers at a dinner event. TBS is already working with FremantleMedia to develop and launch its formats in the international market.

Within a day of that article coming out TBS posted on their international sales website it's own article about the exact same thing.  There is one particular difference with that article that struck me:

Then, after visiting several cities, the top performers will descend upon a European based recreation of the mammoth 4-stage course, creating a primetime finale like no other.

Okay so we are getting Europe's version of American Ninja Warrior.  Hmm. Now my concern is going back to the purpose of this entire blog.  The fate of Sasuke after this.  I can only assume that the format is to get Europe's winner then send them to Japan for the grand final?  Even with the announcement of Sasuke 28 in Japan just last week we have yet to hear from NBC about the American entries to Sasuke Japan.  With ANW4 only producing 1 person in the 3rd stage and not a winner I'm curious how or if Americans will be sent to Japan in the same fashion that they have been for the past couple of years since G4's monopoly on American entries started.  Entries to Sasuke 28 are still going on with TBS holding auditions in Japan for the Japanese in 2 cities but the fate of the international competitors is a bit in the air right now. I've been told that internationals not tied to USA, Malaysia and Singapore can apply through the TBS site. We'll see as the month rolls along if that still is the case.

The 3 companies involved seem to be FremantleMedia (out of London) seems to be a distribution arm, Ecchomedia (I believe based out of France) seems to be the production company and another company mentioned in the article was Bellon Entertainment (which is based out of Long Island, New York) seems to be a domestic distribution arm here in the USA.

Either way the next step for Ninja Warrior Europe is MIPCOM.  From the description it's "the world’s entertainment content market is the only place where you can network, do business, discover new trends and cement partnerships face-to-face on a global level".  That will be held later this month on October 8-11, 2012 in Palais des Festivals, Cannes, France.  Hopefully after that time we will hear more news on the subject. Lord knows our European readers have been waiting years for a clear way of competing in Sasuke.


ad uk said...

It will be interesting to see which country's in Europe choose to get involved ? Bit of a wait and see game.

Arsenette said...

Agreed. Not sure who's going to bite. I think that's the whole point of taking this to MIPCOM.

Unknown said...

Has there been any more news about the Europe version, specifically what country it's likely to take place in (or countries??).

Arsenette said...

Just this:

(Preliminary locations Scandinavia, Germany, Central Europe, Italy, Spain and France.)