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Touch, Nat Geo form Dizzy JV

National Geographic Ventures International and UK indie Touch Productions have united to form Dizzy Earth, a formats-focused joint venture which will launch next month at MIPTV.
March 28, 2011

National Geographic Ventures International (NGVI) and UK indie Touch Productions have united to form Dizzy Earth, a formats-focused joint venture which will launch next month at MIPTV.

According to NGVI, the UK-based content distribution firm which incorporates Nat Geo’s sales wing NGTI, the new venture has been established “to capitalize on opportunities for creating and exploiting new intellectual properties across a wide variety of media and related spaces.”

The JV will initially mine and re-purpose assets held by the two companies, and will be pitching format ideas to broadcasters in Cannes next month.

Malcolm Brinkworth, CEO of Touch Productions and co-founder of Dizzy Earth, said: “Dizzy Earth will be creating and managing new IP and stepping outside of the traditional boundaries of production companies to hopefully redefine what it means to be a contemporary content business.”

He added that the firm would “explore every potential exploitation avenue for new and re-purposed ideas, ensuring we reach the best possible audience.”

Although the JV’s initial focus will be on TV format ideas in the factual entertainment space, execs at the company plan to develop cross-genre content for broadcast and other platforms.

Maurice van Sabben, president of NGVI and co-founder of Dizzy Earth, explained: “Touch and NGVI have worked together well for a number of years. Our common approach and desire to do something different with the assets we hold between us is garnering early interest and we are confident that MIPTV will represent the perfect launchpad for our first ideas.

“In addition, across our respective businesses we have experts in ideas generation, story-telling, branding and design, event management, licensing and marketing – as well as distribution and production – so with these broader talents already onboard we feel perfectly placed to meet our objectives for Dizzy Earth.”

Touch Productions is best known for factual entertainment programs such as The Human Footprint, Body In Numbers, Dallas DNA and Taking on Tyson, the latter of which features boxer Mike Tyson and launched on Discovery Communications’ Animal Planet this month.

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