ITV Studios partnered with Take 1, now VITAC, to provide the Hell’s Kitchen USA German dubbing for their new German FAST channel launch.
Localizing a FAST Channel for ITV Studios
The FAST (Free Ad-supported Streaming Television) channel landscape has been growing at pace in the USA. The whole FAST industry generated $2.1 billion in the US in 2021 and is set to double that total in 2023.
And it’s easy to understand why. From an audience perspective, in the USA, FAST is easily accessible and free at the point of use. This offers an attractive alternative to cable subscriptions which heavily dominate this market. For content owners, FAST channels can reach new audiences and offer new monetization opportunities.
With widespread growth of FAST channels outside of the USA, content owners are starting to look for new international opportunities and establish FAST partnerships in Europe. Now, with Germany and Brazil predicted to be the next largest global FAST regions, some of these international opportunities require a new approach to dubbing and localization solutions.
In a Nutshell
ITV Studios is partnering with VITAC to provide the Hell’s Kitchen USA German dubbing for their new German FAST channel launch. For this project, the VITAC team is working collaboratively with ITV Studios to deliver high-quality dubbing at a competitive price using innovative and flexible workflows to drive down costs.
ITV Studio sought to localize 18 seasons of Hell’s Kitchen USA for their FAST channel launch in Germany.
Hell’s Kitchen USA is one of ITV Studio’s most successful shows. Internationally, the series has been syndicated in 25 territories including France, Russia, Lithuania, Belgium, Italy, and Thailand. In Germany, Sat.1 commissioned a local version of the format in 2014, produced by ITV Studios Germany and hosted by Michelin-starred chef Frank Rosin. According to Parrot Analytics, Hell’s Kitchen USA has a higher audience demand than 99.6% of all reality titles in Germany.
With these stats, it’s clear to see why Hell’s Kitchen USA was one of the flagship programs selected for their German FAST channel launch. They needed a long-tail localization strategy with a flexible partner.
The VITAC team took advantage of the fact that voice-over dubbing is quite common in Germany. Unlike lip-synch dubbing, this technique kept the original-language dialogue at very low levels under the translated voice-overs and required less studio time for recording. In addition to dubbing services, VITAC also provided forced-narrative subtitles to translate on-screen graphics or written content that wasn’t explained in the narrative.
VITAC secured ‘the German Gordon Ramsay’ as key voice talent for the dubbing project to maintain brand consistency in the region but reduced talent costs by utilizing a small pool of actors to voice the full set of contestants across the seasons.
One area where VITAC had no room for compromise was quality control. With FAST channel content often being drawn out of deep archives, where multiple versions of each episode may exist in a variety of formats, finding the correct version for a particular use can be challenging. However, with quality control checkpoints throughout VITAC’s process of subtitling, scripting, dubbing, post, and playback, any issues were picked up and rectified before delivery.
A great first dub commission between ITV Studios and [VITAC], to localize the hugely successful Hell’s Kitchen USA into German and release it into the FAST world. Tremendous attention to detail was needed along the way due to some challenging legacy distribution assets, which ensured the best possible version is released in the market.
ITV Studios is a British multinational television production and distribution company owned by the British television broadcaster ITV plc. Based in 12 countries across 60 production labels, it has local production offices in the UK, US, Belgium, Australia, Germany, The Netherlands, Italy, Israel, France, Spain, and Scandinavia.
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