VIDEO – Somehow Israel
has turned into a television format empire over the last few years, with shows like "Homeland," "In Treatment" and game show "Still Standing" hitting it big on American prime time television.
Jewish News One went to talk to some of the local players to find out what the secret of the success of the Israeli formats is.
Video courtesy of jn1.tv
The Israeli formats have become a hot-ticket in the international markets almost to the point that distributers are afraid not to be able to nab the next Israeli format, tells us the executive director at Ananey Communications, Sigal Shaldag.
"People are afraid to lose the next format, or the next show from Israel. It's not that they want something from Israel, they're afraid to lose the next big thing that that will come from Israel."
The pioneer of the Israeli formats internationally, the president of Armoza Formats, Avi Armoza, is very proud of the fact that Israel was recently named No. 1 country in the world for selling its formats.
"I was on a panel in Mip-TV, that was dealing with trends within the international industry and there was a research that they did among 300 executives all over the world, asking them which is the 'hottest' country for formats and Israel came out first, so to be an Israeli creator or an Israeli distribution company, it's quite a good place to be in these days."
Nadav Palti, the president of Dori Media Group, claims the next natural phase in the selling of Israeli formats around the world is that the big networks will also produce their shows in Israel and notes that "we're already in negotiations with a few countries."
"Hatufim" (Prisoners of War) is perhaps the most popular format out of Israel due to the success of the American version of it, "Homeland." Karen Shahar, the head of distribution for Keshet International who sold the format, still does not believe how huge the show has become internationally: "It's a testament to how the international community and not just the American
community, has embraced 'Homeland' and 'Hatufim'.
"Five years ago, if I were to say 'I'm from Israel', they would say 'Keshet who? Israel what?' But today, when we say we're from Israel, they immediate respond 'wow, you guys are so creative, you have so much good stuff.' It's a great ice-breaker and a great lead to the conversation."
After concurring the very lucrative American market and the European,
Australian and Latin
markets, the last frontier seemed to be the Asian market, which has traditionally been hard to penetrate into for western style television shows.
But leave it to the Israelis to do the impossible. Keshet International has just finalized a deal with China's Shixi Media to license six of its shows for Chinese television.