Hollywood talent agencyEndeavor has entered into a strategic partnership with China's second-largestmedia giant, the Shanghai Media Group (SMG), and its subsidiary, ShanghaiInteractive Television (SiTV).
The agreement sees Endeavorassisting SMG in acquiring programming for its rapidly expanding TV content andmanagement business.
SMG recently launched anational distribution platform for 14 digital pay-TV channels, with supportfrom the Chinese government, which is now being tested by more than 40 cableoperators in the Shanghai region.
"We are excited to beworking with Shanghai Media Group which is leading the charge in China'srapidly changing television industry," said the partners of Endeavor in a jointstatement.
Since restructuring a fewyears ago, SMG has been aggressive in courting overseas partners and has jointventures or strategic alliances with major international media groups includingCNBC, Universal Music Group and Viacom.
The group also owns theShanghai Film Group which is becoming increasingly active as both a co-producerand co-financier of international films. It recently co-financed MerchantIvory's The White Countess whichwrapped in Shanghai earlier this year.
Endeavor is the third majoragency to enter China, potentially the world's largest market, in the pastyear. William Morris Agency opened a Shanghai office last autumn and CAArecently hired producer Peter Loehr to head up an office in Beijing.
A large delegation ofChinese filmmakers and executives is attending Cannes this year and Loehr isintroducing some key figures, such as the Hengdian Group, to heavy hitters fromthe US and Europe.
While China's film market isstarting to grow, the country's TV market is also a major draw for overseasinvestors due to its huge audience and the rapid growth of advertising revenueover the past few years.
- MPAA president and CEO DanGlickman is visiting China next week to take part in the Fortune Global Forumin Beijing starting May 16.