Head of Asia, Keshet International
Since joining Keshet International (KI) as head of Asia in 2015, Pudney has established two offices in this continent for the global content producer and distributor: the first in 2015 in Hong Kong, and the second in Mumbai in 2017.
As head of Asia, Pudney is charged with overseeing the company’s continued expansion in this burgeoning region, where KI is the fourth largest distributor of formats. Business activities include licensing of ‘ready to play’ content to Asian producers and broadcasters of all sizes, acquiring content from all regional markets, and establishing strategic co-development and co-production partnerships for KI’s scripted and non-scripted portfolio.
Local adaptations of KI formats include dramas “Prisoners of War” (India and soon, China) and “Spy” (Korea); talent competitions “Master of Dance” (Vietnam), “Master Class” (Vietnam, China) and “Rising Star” (India, Indonesia, and Cambodia); gameshows “Lovers or Liars” (Vietnam and Thailand), “Who’s On Top” (Indonesia), “Trade Up” (China), and “Boom!” (Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines); and the docu-reality series “Manbirth” (Vietnam). Scripted shows across the region include the dramas “The A Word” and “MICE” alongside comedies “Loaded” and “Traffic Light”.
Pudney is a seasoned dealmaker, having established a number of reciprocal relationships with broadcasters, producers, advertising agencies, and brands throughout Asia. He moved from the U.K. to Hong Kong in 2001, serving as MD at Typhoon Media and then sales and marketing director at Galleon prior to joining Sparks|Eccho Group in December 2010 as head of Asia to establish their Asian business.
Scripted formats and development have taken on a whole new life in Asia for Gary Pudney, Keshet International’s GM for Asia. Four of the of the 11 formats he has on air or commissioned for Asia in the first half of this year are scripted, and there’s enough on the boil – particularly in India – to drive record levels of optimism about a raft of successors to "Prisoners of War" ("POW – Bandi Yuddh Ke" for Star India), "Baker and the Beauty" and "The Stylist" (Viu India), "False Flag India" and "Deep Crime Unit" in Japan. The scripted uptick is driven by a mix of OTT and traditional platforms, he says. There’s also a more open, collaborative, out-of-the-box approach to development, which in turn is driving the creation of new formats involving Asia that can then be sold around the world.