Israel Channel 2 concessionaire Keshet sold the French rights to the musical talent search TV show "Rising Star" ("Kokhav Haba") to the M6 Group, the company said Monday.
In the Israeli show, the at-home viewers vote for and against contestants during their live audition using a special app for smartphones and tablets. When the contestant passes a 70-percent vote cut-off, the floor-to-ceiling screen separating them from the judges and audience rises, signaling to the contestant that they have passed the "screen test."
Keshet, which developed the show format with local company Tedy Productions, invested a lot of effort in marketing the show to foreign media groups. The concessionaire even pushed forward the on-air date for the show's first broadcast so it could present it as an on-air show to potential buyers at the MIPCOM festival that was to begin Monday. The festival serves as an annual content showcase for film and TV production companies and is held every October in Cannes, France.
"The fact that one of the leading media groups in Europe chose to purchases 'Rising Star' shows a great display of faith in the format," said Alon Shtruzman, managing director of Keshet International, the Israeli company's international branch. "The ground-breaking concept of the show is leading toward a new approach to television and we are impatiently looking forward to seeing the French audience connect en masse to the experience of live voting, like the Israeli audience."
M6 broadcasts the third-most viewed French-language television channel and owns other media properties in France.
On Wednesday, Keshet will hold a special event at the MIPCOM festival. At the event, "Rising Star" will be broadcast live on closed circuit television from Israel and participants will be able to use the program's app to vote for the show's contestants.