Dick de Rijk, creator of hit formats Deal Or No Deal, Show Me The Money and, most recently, You Deserve It, gives the MIPFormats keynote interview on Saturday, April 2. A leading figure in the formats industry, his MIPFormats appearance comes as the ink is still drying on a deal with ABC in the US to acquire new game-show format You Deserve It, distributed internationally by SevenOne International.

De Rijk said the slow realisation that formats are intellectual property has created an important sector for the industry. “I once read that in the Fifties and Sixties European producers flew to New York, booked a hotel, watched all the current shows, copied them one by one and put them on air in their own country. Intellectual properties? Never heard of them. Things are quite different now,” he said. “Formats can bring massive revenues to the IP-owners, and attract attention from hungry investors. Big Brother, as well as Deal Or No Deal, were the immediate causes for Endemol International to be sold twice.”

Endemol started out as a Dutch company — and de Rijk, too, is Dutch. And he says there’s a reason why his country has done so well in this field. “I develop formats as an export product, capable of appealing to a variety of viewers in different cultures,” he said. “It probably has to do with my small home country Holland. To survive we have to think beyond the limited size of our territory.” His new format, You Deserve It (see Product News), is a hit from the outset, having been snapped up by ABC in the US. “Arrogant as we are, we pitched it first to the big four in the US before anywhere else,” he said. “And after a true bidding war, we sold it to ABC. Wow!” During MIPFormats Dick de Rijk will be presented with the C21/FRAPA Formats Gold Award, which is sponsored by MIPFormats, in recognition of his contribution to the genre.

“Formats king de Rijk has another hit on his hands”; MIP Formats Preview Magazine – March 2011 from Reed MIDEM, Paris, Page 4.