The deal would combine
Joining forces would buttress both companies during a period of intense consolidation in the production industry, particularly among firms that specialize in unscripted shows. A number of deals were announced last week among broadcasters seeking to expand content and increase audience share.
"This gives them access to newer programming ideas and exposes them to the possibility of other concepts," said veteran media analyst Hal Vogel, "and may save them some money too."
Last week, cable programmer
Although a tentative deal between Fox and Apollo has been struck, the companies cautioned that a final agreement is no certainty.
Still undetermined are which executives would have prominent roles in the new entity should the combination go through and whether positions would be eliminated. Some back-office operations could be combined, the executives said.
Spokespeople for both companies confirmed the talks.
"The devil is in the details," said Russ Kagan, an international programming consultant. "There will be a lot of negotiation about the value of the assets each party is putting into the venture."
For Apollo, teaming with Fox is the latest step in its efforts to become a force in the programming business. In 2011, it bought the company CKX, now known as Core Media Group, for $509 million. Core is a producer of "American Idol" and "So You Think You Can Dance," which air on Fox.
Apollo has been looking to combine its TV production holdings and find a partner to help its global ambitions. In 2012, it flirted with putting Core and Endemol under one roof in a deal that would have included an investment from Hollywood heavyweight Peter Chernin. But those talks fell apart.
For 21st Century Fox, the potential partnership will boost Shine's global prowess as both a seller and a buyer of programming.
Founded by Murdoch's daughter Elisabeth in 2001, Shine owns 26 production companies that serve 11 countries. In 2011, Elisabeth Murdoch sold Shine to her father's
It is now a unit of 21st Century Fox, which was spun off from News Corp. Elisabeth Murdoch is still the chairwoman of Shine.
Shine's shows in the U.S. include the unscripted hits "The Biggest Loser" on
Key Shine executives besides Murdoch include Chief Executive Alex Mahon and Chief Operating Officer Tim Robinson.
Core’s leadership includes President Marc Graboff, a former top executive at
Endemol's top executives are Chief Executive Just Spee and President Tim Hincks.