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FremantleMedia to unveil new singing format at Mipcom

MUMBAI” Television format and creator FremantleMedia is bringing singing talent format ‘The Heart Of My Country’ to next month’s television trade event Mipcom in Cannes, France. The show takes an approach to social networking and digital platforms to create national event TV.

Developed in-house by Austria’s Puls 4, ‘The Heart Of My Country’ first aired as ‘The Heart of Austria’ (Herz von Österreich) on the network earlier this year. The show’s structure plays on regional rivalries and a pride people have in their national and provincial identity, with performers having to sing in the country’s language. It encourages performers to canvass votes from across the country in order to win the hearts – and votes – of their fellow countrymen. It became an instant hit in Austria, where the show played in Friday night primetime slot, exceeded the slot average by 75 per cent and generated unprecedented levels of online discussion and social media buzz.

FremantleMedia senior VP global acquisitions and development Vasha Wallace said, “ ‘The Heart of My Country’ provides a brand new take on the vocal talent format. Puls 4 have created a warm, upbeat show that celebrates national identity, plays to regional rivalry and generates social interaction to create a truly national event.”

ProSiebenSat.1 Puls 4 programme director Oliver Svec said, ” ‘The Heart of Austria’ proved to be a great success for Puls 4, and indeed the whole of our group, in so many ways, not least because it combines genuine authenticity with a dynamic and engaging approach. We are sure this format will turn out to be a real game changer in many other territories, and are thrilled to be working with FremantleMedia, who will do a great job in taking the spirit of The Heart of My Country to the world.”

The show begins with the qualifying rounds, where contestants representing the nation’s provinces perform in front of a panel of three musically-acclaimed judges, representing different genres, generations and regions. All songs – whether traditional folksongs or international pop hits – must be performed in the nation’s mother tongue. A favourite act is selected by each judge and then has five days in which to tour the country using whatever techniques they can to generate publicity and get viewer votes.

Vocal talent is only a part of the skills needed to make it through this stage; performers will also have to show creativity, stamina and strong tactics to make it through the canvassing, using all forms of digital and traditional media to stimulate viewer engagement. Contestants are encouraged to use social networking and personal campaigning to win over rival regions, together with daily updates from the channel. At the end of the five days, the contestant with the most votes recorded goes through to the Live Final.

In the Live Final, all winning acts perform a new song, with voting updates throughout the evening. These updates mark the progress of each contestant and outline the regions that have been won over by their performance. The performer who has won over the most regions with the most votes is crowned the winner and receives a paid for advertising campaign to support the launch of their music career.