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Bringing globally renowned shows to Pakistan has been a mixed experience, with ventures like MasterChef Pakistan and Pakistan Idol generating initial excitement but ultimately fading after a single season. Now, a new contender is entering the arena: Shark Tank. Earlier this year, Biz Asia Live reported that Grenlit Studios secured the franchise, aiming to replicate its international success in Pakistan. Shark Tank, a reality TV series originating in Japan as Tigers of Money in 2001, features entrepreneurs pitching their business ideas to a panel of wealthy investors, known as "Sharks." The format has been adapted globally, including the UK's Dragon's Den and the US's Shark Tank, and has aired in over 50 countries, including Bangladesh in 2022, managed by Sony Pictures Television for international distribution. "We are excited to introduce the immense success and global appeal of Shark Tank to Pakistan," said Usman Malik, Co-Founder and CEO of Grenlit Studios, in a statement. "This collaboration with Sony Pictures Television marks a significant milestone for Grenlit Studios and underscores our commitment to promoting innovation and entrepreneurship within Pakistan." However, the decision to invest heavily in a franchise show raises questions amid fierce competition from digital platforms. Producer Hamza Ansari cautioned about the importance of localizing content to resonate with Pakistani audiences. "Without adaptation for local tastes, the show may struggle to attract viewership, leading to ad revenue drying up and potential cancellation," Ansari explained to a local publication. Another challenge is the scarcity of skilled professionals capable of executing such a high-stakes production. "Securing an international franchise isn't just about replication but adhering strictly to brand guidelines," he added. "There are only a few individuals locally who possess such expertise." One such expert is Ahmer Khan, a seasoned producer behind MasterChef Pakistan, which garnered acclaim but was discontinued prematurely after its first season. Khan emphasized the necessity for longevity in such shows. "To build ratings and sustain interest, these formats typically require at least three seasons," Khan noted. "Long-term strategy should outweigh immediate revenue concerns." Initial challenges for Shark Tank Pakistan included assembling the panel of "Sharks" or investors. Presently, the lineup includes figures like Rabeel Warraich from Sarmayacar, Junaid Iqbal pivotal in Careem's local success, Aleena Nadim of Forbes 30 under 30 Asia, and Romana Dada, representing the Saudi Sovereign Wealth Fund in Pakistan. With the Sharks finalized, the focus now shifts to sourcing compelling pitches and ensuring a seamless adaptation for Pakistani audiences. The show's premiere date is yet to be announced. The success of Shark Tank Pakistan will hinge on effectively merging these critical elements. Adaptation to local preferences and maintaining high production standards will be pivotal in determining whether the show can achieve enduring popularity, unlike its predecessors in the Pakistani entertainment landscape.
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