Sunday, April 13, 2008

MySpace Targets Overseas

MySpace has signed a deal with a British-based production firm, ShineReveille International, to distribute its video content overseas. This will make MySpace a breeding ground for television series.

The Web site with 110 million members wants to be seen as an outlet for original content. The company owned by News Corporation, called itself “Hollywood’s digital playground.”

ShineReveille International has carried the international format rights to shows including “The Biggest Loser” and “Are You Smarter Than a Fifth Grader?”

Elisabeth Murdoch, a daughter of the News Corporation’s chairman, Rupert Murdoch, is the chief executive of the Shine Group.

Online videos usually are not high cost productions and last less than five minutes. MySpace wants to change that. It had one web-based show which flopped in February, "Quaterlife." Fewer than four million viewers tuned into the debut on NBC.

But Shine intends to localize shows for international markets and adapt specific concepts of the shows for television.

MySpace will be using a new technique to test pilots. Instead of spending millions in a show that might not even get a series, they intend use its social network as a test bed. In the United States, MySpace’s TV section has two original shows, “Roommates” and a hidden-camera series, “Special Delivery,” and more than a dozen in development.

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