With the press of a button and a fair degree of fanfare, Netherlands-based TERN (Television Entertainment Reality Network) International has used MIPCOM 2015 as the launching pad for its Ultra HD/4K factual entertainment channel, Insight.
The venture, available as a linear channel and non-linear/OTT platform, launched at approximately 3:30pm Cannes time on Monday (October 5), before a host of international content producers and distributors during a swanky presentation at Le Grand, with most of its principals on hand.
Insight will initially boast 200 commissioned and acquired hours of Ultra HD/4K content across the genres of science, adventure-oriented reality, and sports-centric fact ent. While there has been a proliferation of wildlife content shot in 4K, Insight head of production Marjolein Duermeijer says the channel will be staying away from that genre at the moment, with a focus on content that has what she calls “the ‘wow’ factor,” geared to the male, 18-45 demo.
Via partnerships with iTV in India, European satellite operator SES Astra and Tricolor in Russia, the service is available in 60 million homes. Plans are afoot to launch in Latin America as well. No financial information regarding the cost of launching the channel was released.
At the Cannes presentation, TERN International CEO Mariam Zamaray (formerly with Fox International Channels) said the team had approximately one year to get the project up and running. Once the parameters were set, the Insight execs contacted a wealth of producers working both in 4K and in the channel’s genres of focus. But content wasn’t easy to come by.
“A lot has been said about 4K or Ultra HD but we found out that a lot of people were working in 25 frames, while we were working in 50. So we set a standard, and found the partners we wanted to work with,” Duermeijer told realscreen.
With a tech-savvy demo in mind, the team is planning on amping up the interactive element with its content, but is also extending its business model to incorporate talent management, music publishing, and format development.
“We always want to own the format – we have ideas for formats and then we find the right producer for it. And that’s how we did it last year, including setting up Spartan X with [Nordic prodco] Strix,” she said. “As producers start to learn about us, people can watch and come with ideas.”
Spartan X is due to air in January of next year, while another Strix series, the “escape room” game format Dracula, is set to bow in February. Other producers currently working with Insight include Zodiak Media, behind the “manhunt” series On the Run set for April 2016, and Kiem, behind 7 Days, a sports-travel hybrid set to air in May of next year.
Content currently online includes Around the World in 80 Tricks and Diamond Geezers and Gold Dealers, among other titles.
“It’s very easy to pitch – you can contact either me or my team. For me it’s important that people know what they’re getting into with Ultra HD and have good ideas.”