Bulldog has acquired the rights of the show from Mark Burnett Productions (producers of The Apprentice, Survivor).
The original show is co-hosted by Sylvester Stallone and its format has so far been locally adapted in 15 countries. The Indian version will feature boxer and Olympic bronze medalist Vijender Singh, who will be a mentor to contestants.
The Contender follows a group of boxers from different parts of the country, all competing with each other in a single elimination style competition. Besides the action in the boxing ring, the show – whose US version has prize money of $ one million - encompasses the real-life hopes, triumphs and defeats of the contestants and their families.
Bulldog and Percept are yet to finalize the exact local format, broadcaster, prize money and host for the Indian version.
Akash Sharma, vice-chairman and managing director, Bulldog Media & Entertainment said, “The Contender is a rage around the world and we are planning to create an even bigger success here in India . This is our first initiative in co-production and re-associating with Mark Burnett again affirms our conviction to provide Indian audiences with only those shows which will make them anticipate more fun, action, healthy competition and drama in each episode.”
Shailendra Singh, joint MD, Percept Ltd said, “We’ll pitch the show to general entertainment channels. Reality television in India has matured and The Contender will offer the best combination of action sports, drama and emotion to Indian audiences. We'll also launch an on-ground promotional event called Fight Nights which will allow amateur boxing talent to try their luck against a professional opponent in the boxing ring.”