MediaWorks partners with NBC to turn channel FOUR into Bravo

The Real Housewives of Potomac will premiere on Bravo New Zealand (NBCU)
The Real Housewives of Potomac will premiere on Bravo New Zealand (NBCU)

MediaWorks and NBCUniversal International Networks have announced their joint venture to transform channel FOUR into entertainment-lifestyle brand Bravo in July.

Bravo New Zealand will focus on design, food, glam and pop culture, including shows such as Million Dollar Listing, Top Chef and The Real Housewives.

A local version of the Real Housewives franchise, The Real Housewives of Auckland, has been in pre-production for five months.

NBCUniversal and production company Matchbox Pictures, responsible for Melbourne's version of the reality programme, have been scouting New Zealand for wealthy women keen to showcase their lives to the world.

In addition, popular series Vanderpump Rules, Flipping Out, Southern Charm, Shahs of Sunset and Made in Chelsea will be part of the line-up.

New series premieres in 2016 include Tour Group, Below Deck: Mediterranean, Après Ski, The Real Housewives of Potomac and The Real Housewives of Dallas.

Bravo New Zealand will be based at MediaWorks' Mt Eden office.

MediaWorks group chief executive officer Mark Weldon says the Bravo brand plays well into "the binge-watching trends of our time".

"What BRAVO has done in the US has captured engaged audiences on the female side, so we think there is a real space for it."

MediaWorks partners with NBC to turn channel FOUR into Bravo

NBCUniversal's Chris Taylor (L) and MediaWorks' Mark Weldon (Supplied)

Weldon says FOUR's young audience is flocking to the internet and Snapchat, and targeting the demographic no longer makes sense. 

"That's not the right place to be in TV anymore, so for all those reasons it's the right choice and from a partnership perspective we couldn't find a better global partner than someone with [NBC's] resources and heft.

"The fact that this is the first free-to-air partnership globally and the first new free-to-air channel that NBCU has launched outside of the US, makes this an especially ground-breaking relationship."

NBCUniversal's Chris Taylor thinks New Zealand audiences will enjoy Bravo's content.

"Unscripted reality is a hugely popular genre, its appeal is the world over and the hours of production continue to increase."

The company's international distribution and networks president Belinda Menendez says they have had a "long-standing, strong relationship with MediaWorks".

"Asia-Pacific is an important growth region for NBCUniversal International and we are extremely pleased to have the opportunity to invest further in New Zealand."

Bravo will be available on demand on 3NOW for iOS and Android.

Newshub.