Sony Pictures Television to take “The Launch” worldwide

The Bell Media and Big Machine Label Group format will be remade in the U.K., with SPT shopping the original and the format globally.
February 22, 2018

Bell Media and Big Machine Label Group have secured their first international distribution deal for the singing competition format, The Launch. 

Sony Pictures Television (SPT) will distribute the format and the original Canadian series worldwide, excluding Canada, with SPT’s London, U.K.-based prodco Electric Ray signed on to produce the format for the U.K. market.

The deal marks the first time a Bell Media original format for CTV has been sold for international distribution, according to a release.

The Launch is based on a concept by Big Machine’s Scott Borchetta (pictured, right). It was co-created by Borchetta in association with Bell Media president Randy Lennox and Paul Franklin of Eureka (MasterChef), in partnership with John Brunton and Lindsay Cox of Insight Productions.

The singing-competition series premiered Jan. 10 to an average audience of 1.14 million viewers (2+) across CTV, CTV Two, Much, VRAK and Canal Vie.

The show follows unsigned artists as they audition for the chance to record and perform an original song written by a well-known songwriter or producer. The mentors, which have included Shania Twain (center), Fergie and Boy George, then choose which performer’s song is released directly following the broadcast of the episode.

According to Bell Media, the show’s original songs have already surpassed 4 million streams worldwide.

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Meagan Kashty is an associate editor of realscreen, an international print and online magazine that covers the non-fiction film and television industries. Meagan is an award-winning business journalist. Prior to joining the realscreen team, Meagan was online editor of Canadian Grocer, named Magazine of the Year at the 2015 Canadian Business Media Awards. She can be reached at, and you can follow her on Twitter @MegKashty