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TBS and Dentsu announce “SASUKE / Ninja Warrior” format rights agreement for Europe at MIPTV


April 13, 2015, Cannes, France –

Today on the first day of MIPTV in Cannes, France, TBS and Dentsu announced they have entered into a format rights agreement for the sports entertainment program “SASUKE.” Under this agreement, Dentsu acquires the rights to sell the format throughout Europe (excluding four Northern European countries) for two years. By marketing “SASUKE” in Europe, Dentsu will help TBS build on the high popularity and momentum the format currently enjoys around the world.

Since its launch in 1997, “SASUKE” has grown into a massively popular sports entertainment program and a gem in the crown of the TBS lineup. First sold outside Japan in 2005 and known in certain markets as “Ninja Warrior,” “SASUKE” along with its many spinoffs continues to grow a global audience at a rapid pace.

As “Ninja Warrior,” “SASUKE” was first broadcast in the US in 2006 on the national G4 cable network (now Esquire Network). In 2009, the local US version, “American Ninja Warrior” (ANW), began airing in prime time on NBC, one of the country’s four major terrestrial networks. In summer 2014, ANW was a massive hit, winning its time slot 14 weeks in a row in the key demo. With Season 7 about to air in May, ANW is ready to take its popularity to new heights.

“SASUKE” content has been sold in 165 countries and territories. Sales extend through Asia, Europe, and North America, as well as the Middle East and Latin America. Local versions of the program have been produced in the US, Malaysia, Singapore, Sweden, and Turkey, and Vietnam versions are in the works. The UK version “Ninja Warrior UK” just premiered Saturday, April 11 at 7:00p.m. on ITV.

The format rights agreement between TBS and Dentsu covers all of Europe except four Northern European countries (Sweden, Norway, Denmark, and Finland). A member of the Dentsu Group with many bases of operations throughout Europe, Dentsu Aegis Network Ltd. will leverage its local marketing power to effectively sell the “SASUKE”/“Ninja Warrior” format on the continent. The partnership with Dentsu in Europe is an important part of TBS’s global strategy to promote “SASUKE”/“Ninja Warrior” around the world and build on the format’s momentum in North America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe

To ensure an international audience, TBS and Dentsu announced their agreement on the first day of MIPTV, the “world’s market & creative forum for content on every screen,” which is held annually in Cannes, France. Already known for featuring the world’s most difficult obstacle course, the “SASUKE” family of programs is now poised to gain even more international recognition and popularity as outstanding content originating in Japan.


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