Strategies of adaptation and commercialisation from global entertainment tv-formats on the basis of the endemol company

Seminar Paper, 2008

17 Pages, Grade: 2,0



1. Introduction

2. Global network of Endemol

3. Types of production
3.1 In-house production
3.2 Commissioned production
3.3 Acquisition
3.4 Format-trading in general
3.4.1 Take-over
3.4.2 Format-adaption
3.4.3 Indirect format-adaption
3.5 Development of format-trading
3.6 Importance and extent of format trade
3.7 Strategies of Endemol

4. Who wants to be a millionaire
4.1 Endemol and “Who wants to be a millionaire?”
4.2 International Appearance
4.3 Regional Differences
4.4 Difficulties of commercialisation

5. Conclusion


1. Introduction

Globalisation can be recognized in different areas of the society. In the course of globalisation the national television markets will cumulatively be linked with each other. According to this the world is also getting closer in the television-area.

Different companies are following different strategies with different success. In the discourse of globalisation the dominance of western culture and his consumer society are often criticized.

Another point are the tendencies of homogeneity of civilisations. These occur as a result of processes of standardization and lead to an affiliation of cultures. According to this, local traditions could be substituted step by step if the behavoiur of consumers and other fields of everyday occurrences adapt one another. The entertainment industry plays a special role in that context. It helps to develop and distribute the products in a commerical way especially in the fields of television, film, music, books and pc-games.

The entertainment industry applies as mediator from different kinds and different worlds of living (cf. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung 2006, website). Entertainment programmes are meanwhile seen to be effective in popularitiy and attractiveness. They regulary achieve high viewing figures. Within the entertainment section the international trading with specific broadcasting programmes has risen a lot. Since the meaning of the international formattrading has risen, a well known reality format is “Big Brother” (distributed in 23 countries) (cf. Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung 2006, p. 9 and Hamilton/ Stevenson 2005, website).

The Inventor is the endemol company which plays an important role in connection to the formattrading business (cf. Endemol 2006 a, website). The big sucess of “Big Brother” and “Who wants to be a millionaire?” have pushed the international trade with tv-formats at the end of the nineties and paved the way for a top-selling class of buisness.

Mentionable in this context is that an international commercialisation requires a great economic capital so that especially production companies which have these financial background can execute such extensive projects (cf. Schwäbe 2003, p .422).

This termpaper discusses the global format trade in general and the strategies, that endemol is following to adapt tv-formats to local conditions.

In Addition to that, there will also be explained the different types of acquistion or rather production. In the following the format “Who wants to be a millionaire?” is used for explaining important and interesting facts about a tv-format with an

international success. Finaylle a short conclusion and some critical aspects in connection with the format business conclude this term paper.

2. Global network of Endemol

Endemol describes itself as a global leader in television and other audiovisual entertainment which offers its ideas to the world leading broadcasters (cf. Endemol 2007 b, website). The multinational company operates in 25 countries on five continents with permanent presence. The subsidiares can use the benefits and advantages of belonging to an international group. These subsidiares are primarily focused on their domestic markets, but they are also working together to develop and share new formats and other intellectual property. Beyond this the global network is used for the exchange of productions, other know how and best-practises (cf. Endemol 2006 a, website).

The cultural production of deterritorial available mediaproducts is often supported by so-called global player (cf. Hepp 2004, p. 197). The production companies are thereby often local represented, like Endemol does with its subsidiaries. The production of local versions will be done in most of the several countries individually by the subsidiaries of Endemol (cf. Kronewald 2002, p. 12). This contributes to the fact that the production companies can integrate themselves into the different cultural peculiarities and produce mediaproducts for distinct contexts (cf. Hepp 2004, p. 272).

The core buisness of Endemol is developing tv-products and selling these worldwide. Globally Endemol is a billion-dollar business that produces over 25.000 hours of original television content per year Endemol (cf. Endemol 2006b, website). From more than 700 formats in the portfolio of Endemol Germany they compounded more than 90 per cent on their own. An exception is the format “Who wants to be a millionaire?” whose license for Europe was bought from John de Mol after he had seen the pilot programm (cf. De Mol 2004, website).

3. Types of production

In the field of the acquisition of programmes for broadcasting stations exist different types of production. The main types will briefly be explained below.

3.1 In-house production

The first possibility of production is the so-called in-house production. These are programmes, in which production and treatment is carried out and financed by own means of production (cf. Seidel/Libertus 1993, p. 126).

3.2 Commissioned production

The commissioned production emerged actually exactly with the creation of the public law institutions (cf. Koch-Gombert 2005, p.173). At this type of production a production company is commissioned normally by a broadcasting station (cf. Filmfibel 2008, website). Thus public and private broadcasting station instruct production companies for example with the production of the season from a new tv- serial.

3.3 Acquisition

By contrast in the acquisition the rights on finished productions will be acquired (so- called finished-made-for-TV-programme) from other domestic or foreign broadcasters. The advantage of importing tv-programmes is to save of expenses, which are considerable lower in comparsion with self-productions (cf. Mikos 2002, p. 439).

3.4 Format-trading in general

Format-trading in general is just another type of obtaining programmes. For a better understanding of the term format-trading, initially a short definition of the pre-term format will follow. Albert Moran says that: “A televison format is that set of invariable elements in a programm out of which the variable elements of an individual episode are produced.“ (Moran 1998, p. 13) Another explanation from Schmitt describes the term tv-format more accurately in the following way: “A television format is a programme or programme concept, with distinct elements that can be exported and licensed to production companies or broadcasters outside its country of origin for local adaption.“ (Miracle screening 2005, website)

The whole term format-trading can be defined as an exchange of licences for tv- formats, normaly entertainment formats, between a licenser and licencee in the context of obtaining programmes (cp.Will 2005, website).


Excerpt out of 17 pages


Strategies of adaptation and commercialisation from global entertainment tv-formats on the basis of the endemol company
Technical University of Ilmenau  (Institute of Media and Communication Science)
Organisational Communication
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ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
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Strategies, Organisational, Communication, Endemol, TV-Formats, Commercialisation, Global Entertainment, Adaption of TV-Formats
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Mario Ziemkendorf (Author), 2008, Strategies of adaptation and commercialisation from global entertainment tv-formats on the basis of the endemol company, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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