CBC, Banijay Int’l launch Format Incubator

The partnership will support up to three new Canadian unscripted pilots through development and production, which will then be broadcast on Canada's pubcaster in primetime slots during March 2016, and shopped internationally.
June 8, 2015

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation is teaming with global distributor Banijay International to launch a format development and production initiative geared towards Canada’s independent production industry.

Through the Format Incubator partnership, CBC and Banijay International are calling for Canadian producers to submit “original, non-derivative primetime unscripted formats” in two categories. The “field-based factual” category refers to formats that, according to the CBC, “take people on a journey of knowledge, have interesting characters, strong narrative, stylistic production and editing, and a unique point of view.”

For the studio-based entertainment category, producers should submit proposals for content aimed at adults 25-54 and families, which serves as “a collective viewing experience that reaches out to the audience to participate in the program in many different ways.”

The partnership will support between one and three new Canadian unscripted pilots through development and production, which will then be broadcast on Canada’s pubcaster in primetime slots during March 2016. The chosen projects will receive development and creative editorial support from the CBC and Banijay, as well as an expedited distribution process to bring them to the international market.

The pilots are to be financed by CBC and Banijay International, as well as through provincial tax credits. As for rights, Canadian producers will retain copyright of the programs, and the format will be owned jointly by the production company, the CBC and Banijay International.

Proposals for the Format Incubator are being accepted now until August 3, and full guidelines for the Format Incubator can be found here.

“We’re thrilled to spearhead this new partnership, which will allow us to launch more original Canadian formats internationally, while still continuing to serve our audiences here at home,” said Jennifer Dettman, executive director, unscripted content for the CBC. “We look forward to exploring new opportunities and innovative ways of doing things, and we’re proud to help Canadian producers showcase their talent in Canada, and help amplify their reach internationally.”

“Importantly, we have created a constructive and collaborative environment in which independent producers feel comfortable and respected,” added Emmanuelle Namiech, managing director of Banijay International. “We know there is a huge amount of untapped talent in Canada and we are excited about the potential we are about to uncover with our partners at CBC.”
The deal was brokered by Fanny Baudry, VP of global acquisitions for Banijay International.

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 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.