On 5 October, UK independent TV production company, Zig Zag Productions,
announced a co-production agreement with South African producer and content
creator Urban Brew Studios.
The agreement is designed to pool each company’s creativity, expertise and
production facilities to create cross-genre programming for the South African, UK
and international markets.
Urban Brew Studios, with eight fully equipped studios, produces over 50 hours of
original content per week for local platforms including SABC, DStv and e.tv. Urban
Brew is also a channel broadcaster, managing and producing content for domestic
channels including Soweto TV, Glow TV and 1 KZN TV, and broadcasting over 500
hours of content per week.
Urban Brew Studios also has a strong track record in adapting international formats
for South Africa. BBC format Friends Like These is now in its record
The two companies will be developing shared IP and entering into option
agreements for their respective programme formats. The first of which sees Urban
Brew Studios option Zig Zag’s Strike a Match format for the South
Strike a Match is Zig Zag’s studio show where the game is to weed out
the real couples from a hilarious line-up of misfits. Contestants have to try and
keep their relationships a secret when being grilled by a comedic panel.
Zig Zag has taken an international option for Urban Brew’s The Virus
Hunter that follows the world’s leading virologists as they travel to the
world’s most remote areas to pre-empt the next deadly virus. Zig Zag and Urban Brew Studios are also co-creators of iServed and Survived: a re-enactment series that explores modern day heroes serving mankind despite the risk to their own lives.
The agreement also sees the companies partner on the development of a production carousel hub in South Africa for large studio based game show formats.
Zig Zag and Urban Brew Studios also plan to develop co-productions on factual
entertainment series, offer production and post-production services on South African location shoots, and harness Urban Brew Studios technology capabilities in applications and second screen development.
“Urban Brew is truly one of the world’s best kept secrets and without doubt
leading content and production businesses in South Africa. I have long felt that as a country and a region Southern Africa has been under represented in the world stage and in a creative leader like Markus Davies they have someone who understands the impact they can make. In an emerging market we see the potential to both sell our formats but also to help take their formats and bring them to the international market. We already have our first projects together and I hope this will be the beginning of a long and fruitful relationship,’ said Zig Zag CEO Danny Fenton.
“We are extremely excited to be partnering with Zig Zag Productions. Working with
an international player that produces for channels like BBC, ITV, Fox and Discovery
is going to bolster Urban Brew’s offering and in-house capabilities. Urban Brew
Studios is confident that this relationship will bring with it mutually beneficial
opportunities to create cross-genre programming globally and this ties in perfectly
with the vision for Urban Brew Studios, which is to be the leading African content
creator providing innovative global entertainment solutions and services,’ said Trish
Taylor, chief executive officer of Urban Brew Studios.
Zig Zag Productions also recently announced a development and distribution deal
with Toronto-based distributor Blue Ant Media Inc.