Banija CEO Marco Bassetti on buying more than just how to survive the recession.

By | October 18, 2022

Banijay Group CEO Marco Bassetti may be making a smart marketing move by giving a Mipcom keynote on October 18, but the Italian executive insists that “PR, for us, comes later.” After Endemol Shine Group acquired $2.2 billion in 2020, Bassetti has a clear message: Producers, including Banijay, need a fairer business model on streamers.

“This is the golden age of content, but I’m not sure the golden revenue share is for producers,” Bassetti says. Difference from the Banijai Group Paris headquarters in late September. “If we want to continue to create value in the industry, we have to be careful. We have to fight to get manufacturers to keep their models as they are.

That model, of course, deals with rights and back-end revenue that keep Banijay’s 120-plus product companies afloat around the world. Bassetti’s threat to the global production community is now permanent, but the time is right. While companies like Netflix are responsible for Wall Street’s expectations and compete with SVOD rivals, producers who have put on good shows may be the last. Catbird seat when it comes to negotiations.

“Sometimes, you create the next ‘squid game’ and get nothing — just a small fee,” Bassetti said. “We try to avoid the model of being a producer for hire and give all the rights to someone else.” Instead, Banijay is increasingly emboldened to take bigger risks, invest more money, make a product that “multi-streams” and retain the rights portion. (Banijay Group’s portfolio for the period ending December 31, 2020, reflects a “broad customer base” where no customer represents more than 10% of the group’s total revenue.)

That’s not to say, however, that the world’s largest production outfit outside of the US studio system, which is set to generate $1.6 billion in 2020 revenue, rarely plays ball with the likes of Netflix. such as Difference It was announced earlier this year that the distribution arm of Banejay Rights, which has already completed the “Black Mirror” format, has renewed its deal with the streaming service for Charlie Brooker’s dystopian drama. But the deal, which has yet to be officially confirmed (Basetti flashing a sheepish smile), comes after two years of butting heads with Brooker and the departure of partner Annabelle Jones from the then Endemol Tea-owned brand House of Tomorrow.

Ultimately, Banijay’s go-to’s were direct and pay-TV partners, especially for formats in the catalog such as “Big Brother” and “Survivor,” which recently scored major deals at the UK’s ITV and BBC respectively, and continue to sell worldwide.

Another priority for Banijay is to bulk up his script submissions, which is only 25% of the total text, most of which are in non-English languages. Like the company’s recent purchase of Sony Pictures Television Germany, “Romulus” producer Greenlanddia Group and “30 Cents” outfit Pokipesi Films will go some way to creating that next script, but there’s some urgency for more English-language home runs. Especially outside of the UK, now that shows like “Peak Blinders” have finished. The company announced on Monday that it has acquired “Chloe” producer Mam Thor Productions, which is a relatively small scripted indie, but is undoubtedly the first from the UK.

“It’s a very important and expensive market because an English-language tape can travel a lot and it’s easy,” Bassetti said. For now, at Cannes, “Peak Blinders” creator Stephen Knight is hoping the company’s new show “Rogue Heroes,” a drama about the formation of a special forces unit during World War II, will bring healthy sales.

Gaia Weiss (Madame Du Barry), James Purefoy (Le Roy, The King)

Banijay Rights has sold “Marie Antoinette” to PBS for distribution in the US

Meanwhile, while some speculated that Banijai would shed some of its production facilities following the Indemolition takeover, Basseti maintained that the business did not technically cut any accounts, but instead consolidated some companies in overlapping markets. That wide network doesn’t stop the CEO from looking for additional growth opportunities, such as beyond the Australian headquarters for International – which brings in valuable English-language unscripted shows and adds 20,000 hours to its catalog.

There are a few reasons to go beyond, Bassetti says. First, the deal – which is still subject to regulatory approval – will allow Banijay to expand into the Australian market. Beyond shows such as “Mythbusters” also introduce a unique English-language brand of reality not previously available in the text. It also includes a catalog of TCB media rights that were not written off by the bankruptcy of TCB’s former parent company, Kew Media, which it bought in 2020.

“This is the kind of deal we really like,” Bassetti said. “They are very strong, focused on the business and can use their IP.”

Of the $1.9 billion debt load that Indomol Shin estimates Banijay inherited at the time of the acquisition, Bassetti says the figure is now “at a completely different level than before.” “Everyone said, ‘But you’ve increased the debt at Endemol,’ and sure enough [we did]But at a different cost because we have renewed all the contracts and the level we are at agencies is completely different from what Endemol was before.

Crucially, this was done before the pandemic, says Bassetti. “If it was during Covid, we wouldn’t be able to do that deal because of the cost. [too much]He said.

At some point in the conversation, Bassetti gets a phone call from Banijay chairman Stefan Corbitt. At the time of this interview, Kurbit was among the buyers kicking the tires of RTL Group-owned French commercial broadcaster M6. In the end, RTL decided to keep its controlling stake in M6 for a while, but when asked if M6 could join the family, Bassetti commented: “I’m sure. [Courbit] He will do something that will create value for Banijay as he has done so far.

However, next year the road to the SuperInds is rising and falling prices around the world – the real impact will emerge only in 2023. Bassetti says the company has a “flexible cost structure.” 75% of costs are variable, offering some buffers, but static budgets from broadcasters and streamers are problematic.

“You’ll have clients who say, ‘My budget has stayed the same, and we have to manage different expenses. It is a basic discussion that we need to have with the commissioners,” Bassetti explained.

It will have more resources, Bassetti says, since the company went public earlier this year, to Dutch-traded FL Entertainment, which also houses Courbit’s online gambling company Betclic. FL then merged with SPAC Pegasus Entrepreneurs.

“Now, we have a very large shareholder, so we are willing to invest if we need money,” Bassetti said. That means, with a characteristic twinkle in his eye, if there’s an opportunity to create more value, he adds, “We have the resources to do it.”

Category: tv

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *