Though primarily known for scripted content, such as the popular Italian drama series Gomorrah, German distributor Beta Film has taken a step towards unscripted by investing a minority stake into Lineup Industries.
Amsterdam-based Lineup, an indie formats sales business founded by Ed Louwerse (pictured, left) and Julian Curtis (right) in 2014, has a diverse catalog of popular unscripted formats, including The Bully Project, Long Lost Family, and Keep Calm. Their formats have been sold to countries around the world, with Long Last Family in particular being aired in the US, Australia, the Netherlands, UK, Ireland, Norway, Hungary, Italy, Denmark and Germany.
Under the deal, Lineup will continue to operate independently, using the investment to expand its position in the global market, according to a statement from Beta.
Beta, meanwhile, gains access to Lineup’s network and experience in unscripted content.
Production of non-scripted content will become increasingly important for free-to-air as well as pay-tv channels and, of course, for the large SVOD platforms. Non-scripted formats can shape and strengthen the national identity and profile of a broadcaster, aside from the fact that they are economically viable to them. For Beta, non-scripted formats will play a larger and more prominent role within our international distribution business,” said Beta MD Moritz von Kruedener in a statement. “The development and production of these formats follow an innate set of rules, yet in part they are also applicable to the production of fictional formats.”