15-06-2009

INTERNATIONAL AUDIENCES CONTINUE TO GROW FOR FORT BOYARD AS THE SHOW CELEBRATES ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY

11 June 2009 - A host of new productions and deals have been confirmed for the pioneering adventure game show Fort Boyard, as the international hit format prepares to celebrate its 20th anniversary, it was announced today by Matthieu Porte, Head of Format Sales at Zodiak Entertainment, the global content business of DeAgostini Group.

TV3 in Denmark, which aired 117 shows under the local name "Fangerne På Fortet", from 1993 to 2000 has signed a brand new deal for the show. Mastiff Denmark is coproducing with Adventure Line Productions and shooting will begin on 10 new episodes in July.

In addition, Fort Boyard has aired or will air in seven further countries in 2009, including a fifth season for Star Channel in Greece, third series for BTV in Bulgaria and the second series for TVP2 in Poland, Fox in Turkey, Fox in Serbia, ENTV in Algeria and the first series for Armenia TV in Armenia.

Fort Boyard launched the concept of "line production" and has become the most successful adventure game show in the world. With 1345 episodes produced for 42 countries, including 237 for France, 100 episodes for the UK and 11 series for Sweden, it is, by far, the most exported French format in history.

Shooting is now underway on a 20th season of Fort Boyard for France 2, where the hugely successful celebrity edition regularly achieves an average market share of 21%, well above the channel's average of 17%. More than 200 episodes have aired in France since 1990 and the new series, featuring celebrities such as Eva Longoria Parker and her husband, basketball player Tony Parker, will launch later this month. The season will consist of 10 prime time episodes on Saturday evenings, 52 short episodes to be aired four days a week and 15 one hour best-of shows in access prime time, as well as one special best of episode celebrating the history of the show and it's popularity around the world.

The format also features a range of opportunities for merchandising/ancillary exploitation, for example more than 300,000 Nintendo WiiTM and Nintendo DSTM video games sold in France alone in 2 years.

Matthieu Porte commented today, "Fort Boyard broke new ground when it launched in 1990, offering a totally fresh adventure game show experience for viewers and a unique production concept for international broadcasters. Twenty years on, the fact that we continue to sign up new channels throughout the world, is a testament to its relevance and timeless adaptability for a global audience."

He continues, "In many cases we can shoot up to three episodes per day. Shooting back-to-back throughout the European summer allows us to offer the most affordable and cost effective adventure game show. Our aim is to build on the success it continuously enjoys and launch Fort Boyard in the US, one of the rare territories where they have not even heard of the format!"

Built in the Atlantic Ocean by Napoleon in the 19th century, the unique and magical Fort Boyard underwent extensive restoration in the late 1980's to create one of the world's largest outdoor television studios. The show offers the ultimate in adventure as a team of contestants - either members of the public or from the world of celebrity - enter the Fort to attempt to win Boyard's gold. The team are accompanied by a cast of strange characters and tasked with completing a gamut of physical and endurance challenges, offering intense suspense, strong emotions, riddles to solve and a code to discover. All before contestants even reach the Fort Boyard Treasure Room - guarded by tigers!

Adventure Line Productions is part of Zodiak Entertainment, one of the world's biggest distributors of adventure formats, whose catalogue also includes Peking Express, the exhilarating adventure format that sees couples competing against each other in a race across continents and Beyond Boundaries, the exceptional reality show in which a group of people with disabilities are challenged to overcome them and complete the trek of a lifetime.

Editorial contacts:

Zodiak Entertainment:

Klara Halkjaer

M: +44 (0)781 804 88 02

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Debbie Lawrence

M: +44 203 008 5408

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Notes for Editors

Zodiak Entertainment Distribution is one of the major players in the international TV market sales. The company distributes worldwide both scripted products as fiction, drama, animation and documentary using the brand Marathon, than unscripted products like entertainment, quiz and game show though the brand Zodiak Entertainment.

As leading company in the international media industry, Zodiak Entertainment is the company that co-ordinates all De Agostini's activities in the production and distribution of content for television and new media.

Formed by more than twenty successful international companies including ALP, Broadcasters, Bullseye, Diverse, Dixi Media, Jarowskji, Lucky Day , Kanakna, Magnolia, Marathon, Marathon Media Mastiff, Mast Media, Polska, NeoNetwork, Palm Plus, Quadrio, Red House, Sol, Telealliance, Tele-Images, T&T Broadcasters, Yellow Bird, YS Film..

In 2008 Zodiak Entertainment's revenue totalled more than €400 million.

Last modified on 15-06-2009