Nintendo is to bankroll its own TV show on UK channel Five – as games' growing fiscal dominance of other media hits a new milestone.
The platform holder has struck an Advertiser-Funded Programming (AFP) deal with the channel for Britain's Best Brain. MCV understands the partnership, which Nintendo will use to promote DS titles, cost the firm around 2 million.
The deal was brokered with Tiger Aspect Productions by Mediaedge:cia (MEC), and will result in eight one-hour programmes that will air from October. Britain's Best Brain will challenge contestants to tackle five tasks governed by memory, co-ordination, numeracy, recognition and risk.
Nintendo will enjoy exclusive sponsorship credits around the programme – but faces barriers getting its consoles and games mentioned during the show. Unlike the US, commercial product placement is still illegal in
UK TV programmes.
Head of programming at MEC Chantal Rutherford Browne said: This television concept is a fantastic opportunity for Nintendo to bring their games heritage to life. I had been on the lookout for Nintendo for some months and already had preliminary negotiations with Five when the idea of Britain's Best Brain came along via Tiger Aspect.
The AFP allows Nintendo to align themselves with a particularly appropriate television series, forging a relationship between the TV channel and the brand that is truly symbiotic.”
AFP deals are becoming increasingly popular for commercial TV channels, which have seen ad revenues tumble as a result of the UK's economic slowdown.
Five's TV ad revenue fell by 2.2 per cent last year, parent RTL Group revealed in March.
Britain's Best Brain has been developed and produced by GroupM Entertainment and Tiger Aspect – the company behind The Catherine Tate Show, Mr Bean and Harry Enfield And Chums.
Nintendo's senior product manager James Honeywell said: We're really excited to be working with Tiger Aspect, GroupM and Five on this ambitious new show and stepping into the realm of AFP for the first time.”