10 Years and 50 Great Original Series Later
What do you get when you combine a New York based Distribution company with a Czech based production company? Answer: One of the last independent full service TV studios in the world.
After a chance meeting at MIPCOM in 2005, the two companies began working together with a single licensing deal for a health and fitness series produced by KM Records. Four years later the companies decided to form a joint venture called “KM/BM.” What started from that single licensing deal has morphed into a global production and distribution joint venture that would lead to more than 50 original series being produced, the establishment of 5 offices around the globe, and more than 200 satisfied broadcast customers. Netflix, Amazon, N-TV, Mediawan, A+E, Discovery, Nat Geo, France Television, UKTV, RMC, Red Arrow, ITV Studios, and ZDF Enterprises are just a few of the names of high-profile media players working with BM/KM.
“We started our JV in one of the most challenging times in the media business, and we needed to build an efficient system for developing, funding, producing and distributing compelling content” said Jon Loew, one of three co-founders of the JV.
“We write in Hollywood, we finance and sell from NY and Prague, we produce in Czech Republic, and we distribute globally. There is no need to do it all in one place anymore, and this model minimizes our risk and maximizes our returns on each project.” Said Martin Kase, a fellow founder and President of the JV’s production company.
The company describes itself as an “old school TV studio” handling every aspect of the business in house, allowing them to adapt to a constantly changing media environment.
“It used to be that buyers didn’t know if they wanted our shows or not. Today they are sometimes not sure what KIND of shows they are looking for” said Danny Wilk. “We need to be able to adapt quickly, and be a solution for our customers. You can only do that if you own your own IP and if you can make decisions quickly.”
The company first built its reputation on wildlife and nature programming, and has since expanded crime, terrorism, history, travel, UFO, and others. After 10 years in the unscripted world, the company has begun developing (although cautiously) it’s first scripted projects. To do this, the company has ramped up it’s in house production staff and established co-production relationships in Europe, North America and Asia.
“Thanks to the close working relationship with our regular clients we are able to speed up our originals greenlighting process. Our high level re-enactments ,great CGI, and access to experts in many subject areas make us an ideal partner for international co-producers.” said Ladislav Svestka, head of KM’s Sales.
The company will celebrate it’s 10 year anniversary at MIPCOM with a variety of events, including a sit down dinner for 80 people in the courtyard of its Cannes headquarters on the Croisette. The company will also sponsor Yoga on the beach on Sunday (as it has for 8 years), and daily cocktails on it’s penthouse balcony.
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