The public needs to be exposed to more quality, personally impactful content, according to businessman and media entrepreneur Niv Jacobi. On Wednesday, he announced the launch of an Israeli-American studio and content company, dubbed The Meaning Channel (TMC), which will focus on producing “life-altering” content.
“We firmly believe in the Israeli media industry, whose global presence continues to expand and is garnering impressive achievements,” Jacobi said. “The company will focus on and invest only in projects that offer viewers real added value.”
Jacobi, who will serve as TMC’s CEO, previously worked as one of the late Larry King’s closest executives and was president of his own investment company, LCI, for nearly a decade.
The Meaning Channel has raised more than NIS 4 million. It has signed its first collaboration with Anani Studios, a subsidiary of Paramount Global, to co-produce a documentary series that will focus on early detection of cancer and its prevention. The series will be made in collaboration with Tel Aviv’s Sourasky Medical Center. Israel’s Teva Pharmaceuticals will be a co-investor in the series.
“We firmly believe in the Israeli media industry, whose global presence continues to expand and is garnering impressive achievements. The company will focus on and invest only in projects that offer viewers real added value.”Niv Jacobi
The decision to co-invest with Teva was apt, Jacobi said.
“We believe that this production can genuinely save lives,” he said. “Cancer is usually presented in tiresome, melancholy formats produced with limited budgets, something that tends to push viewers away from the screen.”
“Conversely, covering the subject in a way that will continue to captivate viewers is an exceedingly challenging undertaking,” he added. “The solution lies in the top-notch Israeli and American content creators that we work with and in investing in uncompromising product quality.”
The launch of TMC is part of a strategic plan to brand Israel as a powerhouse in creating content that brings weighty subjects to the forefront of public dialog while also working to strengthen ties between US and Israeli media production organizations, Jacobi said.
The Meaning Channel will invest in content that is filmed in Israel, in both Hebrew and English, and each project that the company pursues will combine forces from the US’s and Israel’s media industries, he said.
Advancing US-Israeli media cooperation
A similar move is being promoted by the Finance, Culture and Sport, Economy, Foreign, and Tourism ministries, which last month said they would allocate NIS 45m. for foreign TV and movie productions in Israel in the next two years.
The initiative, dubbed the Fund for the Promotion of Foreign Productions, will reimburse production expenses of up to 30% for foreign film productions and series in Israel. It is an attempt to positively brand the country as a global center for feature filming, thanks in part to its unique natural resources and historical sites.
“Israel has joined a prestigious club of countries that provide incentives to international productions to encourage them to come and film on their territory,” Foreign Ministry Director-General Alon Ushpiz said. “In recent years, Israel’s status as a television and film content power has risen, and the Israeli story has generated global interest and curiosity.”
This could be a huge opportunity to strengthen the ties between Israel and the US media industries, while at the same time increasing its already recovering tourism industry.
“People from all over the world travel to destinations following movies they’ve seen, following favorite series and following admired stars,” Tourism Ministry Director-General Dani Shahar said. “Apart from the fact that we live in a country that is an ideal setting for filming productions internationally... the charm of Israel, which will certainly appear in the series and films produced here, will raise the status of our country among the countries of the world.”