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Talpa Media USA, ITV America secure partnership

Talpa Media USA, the American division of John de Mol’s ITV-owned Dutch production firm, has penned a strategic partnership with ITV America under which Talpa’s North American projects will be ...
August 9, 2017

Talpa Media USA, the American division of John de Mol’s ITV-owned Dutch production firm, has penned a strategic partnership with ITV America under which Talpa’s North American projects will be produced through ITV America’s infrastructure.

Under the partnership, the Big Brother and The Voice creator will develop unscripted content for North American television with access into ITV America’s resources.

Talpa Media’s hit singing competition series The Voice will be unaffected by the agreement, and will continue to be produced by Talpa, MGM Productions and Warner Horizon.

Maarten Meijs, Talpa’s global MD, brokered the deal with ITV America’s Edward Simpson, who serves as EVP of business development and international.

It’s the latest partnership between the two media giants, following the British commercial broadcaster’s acquisition of Talpa Media in 2015 for US$531.68 million (£355 million).

“Talpa’s amazing legacy is built on its ability to create big entertainment formats that also reinvent entire genres — it’s a unique formula that continues to resonate with viewers around the world,” ITV America CEO Brent Montgomery said, in a statement. “We’re thrilled to bring the creative and production expertise of ITV America to a partnership designed to mine our respective strengths; we could not be more excited to work together to create and deliver breakthrough content to audiences across any and every platform where they want to experience and connect with it.”

The agreement will also bring about change within Talpa’s Los Angeles-based offices, with Emmy Award-winning executive producer and creator Stijn Bakkers (The Voice) and executive producer Tim van Rongen (The Voice UK) joining as Talpa Media USA’s co-CEOs.

Bakkers and van Rongen will take over from the outgoing Jay Bienstock, who has served as Talpa Media USA CEO since 2014. Bienstock is currently in talks to launch an overall deal with the company to develop and produce new Talpa series for the American marketplace.

The pair will work closely with ITV Entertainment president David Eilenberg, ITV America CCO Adam Sher and ITV America president David George to create and expand Talpa’s global format portfolio in the U.S.

Bakkers had previously served as Talpa Media USA’s chief creative officer over a three year period before exiting in mid-2014, and was an EP on the NBC and BBC versions of The Voice. Under his banner Five Six Seven, Bakkers recently developed and sold a variety of non-scripted shows to networks in Europe and the U.S.

Van Rongen, meanwhile, most recently served as senior VP at SYCO Entertainment, Simon Cowell‘s joint venture with Sony Music. Prior to that, he held the title of executive producer at Talpa working across both The Voice and The Voice Kids in the UK, Germany, France, Italy and China.

Talpa Media USA is represented by WME and attorney Jeanne Newman.

“I’m extremely excited to partner with ITV America in the USA which enables us to use their highly proficient infrastructure and resources,” added de Mol. “With Stijn and Tim at the helm of our US operation, we are well positioned to further increase our development and production across broadcast, non-linear, cable and digital platforms — whether it’s long-form, short-form or premium global content that we are known for, like The Voice. From creation to execution, this new partnership provides a great strategic set-up to facilitate the rapidly growing US market with fresh Talpa formats.”

(Pictured: Talpa’s John de Mol (left) and ITV America CEO Brent Montgomery)

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for HMV.com. As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.

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