"The production spotlight is on Israel"

Speaking at today's MAD conference in Tel Aviv, The Shine Group managing director Ben Hall said Israel had overtaken Holland as a television production center.

"Today, the spotlight of the production world is on Israel. Israel has replaced Holland in that respect," said Ben Hall, managing director of The Shine Group, one of the UK's leading production companies, at the MAD (Marketing, Advertising, Media and Music) conference held by "Globes" and Orange in Tel Aviv today.

Hall was speaking at a session entitled "The Big Pitch", chaired by Li-or Averbach, editor of "Globes" marketing and advertising supplement "Firma Magazine". The session addressed such questions as "What makes a format commercial?", "What is the right way to present a new format?", "Is it possible to predict a format's success?". Besides Hall, the panelists at the session were Keshet VP of programming Ran Telem, and Armoza International Media CEO Avi Armoza.

"I don't think anything special happened this year, it's a matter of a process that has been going on for a long time," said Telem about the worldwide success of Israeli formats such as "Homeland" and "Still Standing". "Israel has a superb television industry. It's not a trend, but a product of hard work," Telem said.

"We are a small country with two commercial broadcasting bodies, we have Hot and Yes, and unfortunately we long ago gave up on public broadcaster Channel 1, and I actually suggest that we should not give up on it," said Armoza. Armoza sought to draw a comparison between the way the Israeli high-tech industry relates to the world and the way the Israeli media industry relates to the world. "Just as we built an excellent business model for the high-tech industry, we should think the same way about media. We should see the whole world as our arena of activity."

According to Armoza, change is needed in in the rights that remain with the creators and in laws governing rights in format development. "The question is, what are the requisite conditions? Should the creators retain the moral rights to deal with formats. If we were to regard high tech as a model, we could make greater entrepreneurship possible here," he said.

Armoza said that the commercial channels kept the rights on the work, which means that the producer and creator scarcely make anything out of the sales of formats overseas. In response, Telem said that the creator did profit, but that it was important to remember the investment production, broadcasting, distribution was at the expense of the Israeli broadcasting companies.

"In Britain, we have commercial terms, and the norm is that 15% goes to the broadcasting company and the rest remains with the production company," Hall said. "That freed up this whole area in Britain. We as a group invest in developing formats in Britain, because that way we make profits. In effect, we invest in our assets. And I think that by the same token one of the challenges for the Israeli industry is to invent a format that will spread all over the world."

After the panel, "Pitch Doctor" Paul Boross presented tips on presenting formats to companies. After his talk, a pitch competition took place on the stage, with the participation of Eli Yatspan, Harel Josefson, Ori Dror, Oded Kramer, Danny Karpel, Itay Herman, Michal Ben David, Ohad Oz, and Daniel Najenson.

Published by Globes [online], Israel business news - www.globes-online.com - on July 11, 2012

© Copyright of Globes Publisher Itonut (1983) Ltd. 2012

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