Published On: Wed, Jul 23rd, 2014

Israel Looking to Export New Television Ideas

Startup nation is expanding into the entertainment industry, building on an infrastructure that is already in place.


Israel’s TV Format Fund is planning on investing $55 million in the production of new Israeli television programming so formats of new shows may be licensed for remakes around the world, Reuters reports.

The report comes in the wake of successful US remakes of original Israeli programs like HBO’s In Treatment, starring Gabriel Byrne, and Showtime’s multiple Emmy winner Homeland, with Claire Danes and Mandy Patinkin will soon go into its fourth season.

Alon Dolev and the Rubicon Business Group started TV Format Fund six months ago, hoping to make Israel a launching pad for new entertainment.

Dolev and Rubicon hope to act as a sort of venture capital fund for Israel’s entertainment industry.

Dolev, the fund’s chief executive, told Reuters, “Why does the high-tech industry work so well and the creative industry is bleeding money? In Israel, when you have an idea for a television show you have very few options for funding.”

He also feels that in television costs are lower than in high tech and so investments are less risky. He said that “with $100, 000 you can make a pilot, go to the market and sell the format or option it. We can return 60-100 percent of the investment from selling options.”

The Israeli government currently offers assistance to both local and foreign production companies and its local commercial broadcast Channel 2 and 10 invest in original programming. As do its only satellite television provide Yes and its national cable company Hot.

They plan on making 12-14 new formats a year and already have four in the works. They are also looking to bring in new investors.

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