Israeli producer-distributor Keshet International (KI) has opened an outpost in Hong Kong headed by former Sparks Eccho Group exec Gary Pudney (pictured, left).
Pudney was previously the head of Asia Pacific at global rights management firm Sparks Eccho Group, where he sold such entertainment formats as Crack Them Up and Clueless into Asian territories, and also acquired distribution rights for international-facing unscripted concepts. In addition, he channeled Turkish drama titles into Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Pakistan and secured Korean scripted properties for international distribution across EMEA.
According to KI, the Hong Kong office represents an increased commitment to the Asian market. The company has sold a number of its formats across the continent and has also acquired rights to Asian IP for third-party distribution and production in the U.S.
KI’s interactive talent show Rising Star has aired in Indonesia (RCTI) and China (CCTV) and its youth-focused talent show Master Class has also been broadcast on Beijing Satellite TV. The company in 2014 acquired the Chinese talent show Not a Star Yet.
“KI is keen to build new partnerships and business models in the region, working with a wide range of platforms, technology and advertising companies as well as content owners and producers,” reads a release.
In a statement, Shtruzman says the new office positions the company to become active in “all major Asian markets.”
“There is a misconception that international companies are only interested in exporting to Asia, but that’s certainly not the case for us,” said the CEO. “We’re looking to develop a fruitful, two-way exchange of IP into and out of Asia.”