Format Specialist Can’t Stop Media Relaunches, Strikes Vivendi Distribution Deal (EXCLUSIVE)

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Five years after being acquired by France’s Vivendi Entertainment, format specialist Can’t Stop Media is relaunching as an independent company.

The U.K.-based indie, run by Matthieu Porte, Arnaud Renard and Damien Porte, has also struck a new deal with Vivendi and Canal Plus which sees Can’t Stop Media become the international distributor for IP controlled by Vivendi Entertainment.

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The deal includes the formats “Guess My Age,” which has been licensed in 18 countries since 2016, including daily versions currently on air in Italy, Spain and Thailand; “Couple or Not;” TFI hit “The Secret Song; “Facing the Classroom,” which has been adapted in nine countries; and “Mum of the Week,” which has been adapted in eight countries including a new daily version in Ukraine on STB.

Also in the deal is “Secrets of the Pyramids Builders”, a six-part documentary series from Pernel Media co-produced by Smithsonian Channel in the U.S., and “The Guignols,” the satirical puppet format being developed in the U.S. by Fox and Ben Silverman’s Propagate Content.

The agreement also grants Canal Plus a two-year first look deal on all new ideas developed by Can’t Stop. The new shows created under this deal will be distributed by Can’t Stop.

Can’t Stop was created by Matthieu Porte in 2011 after he left his role as senior VP of entertainment at Zodiak.

Porte said: “As entrepreneurs, we’re excited to fly on our own in order to catch all the market opportunities, while keeping a strong business relationship with Canal Plus.”

Arnaud Renard pointed to an increasing number of non-scripted shows being commissioned by the new players such as Netflix and Amazon, but also by all the French and international broadcasters. “We believe being independent will give us more flexibility to launch new IP with international potential.”

Gérald-Brice Viret, director of broadcast and programming at Canal Plus, said: “We are happy to maintain a preferred relationship with Can’t Stop Media for the years to come. I’m wishing them lots of success in their new venture.”

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