A Richmond TV production company looks set to capture the attention of millions of Asian TV viewers.
Sayson Productions, based out of Blundell Centre, has managed to secure its West Coast Adventures show on Hong Kong-based TV channel TVB8, which boasts 25 million subscribers.
Viewers across China, Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Malaysia and even parts of Australia and New Zealand will see the very best of B.C. through the travel TV series.
Beginning today (Nov. 9), TVB8 will be broadcasting the weekly show during prime time to its millions of viewers.
“I believe that we’re the very first travel series that is entirely about British Columbia to be airing in China,” said Sayson’s owner/operator Danny Sayson, a 1988 Richmond High grad.
West Coast Adventures is about travel and adventure in B.C.’s outdoors, with highlights from the show including playing with the dolphins at the Vancouver Aquarium, mountain climbing to the summit of Whistler, grizzly bear watching and snorkelling with the salmon in Bella Coola and sturgeon fishing in the Fraser Canyon.
There are also scenes of humpback whale watching in Prince Rupert, swimming with the seals in Nanaimo, white water rafting in Lytton, airplane gliding in Hope and cruising from Vancouver to Alaska.
After the show aired a couple of years ago in the U.S. and Canada, Sayson saw a huge potential in the Asian market.
“When China granted Canada Approved Destination Status in 2010, thus allowing Chinese citizens to travel to Canada in organized tour groups, I knew that there would be interest in our show,” he said.
“Sure enough, in 2011, China surpassed Japan as the biggest source of visitors from Asia to British Columbia. The number of entries from the Chinese mainland rose 468 per cent from 25,000 in 1996 to 139,000 by 2011.”
Sayson then partnered with Canamedia, a distributor based in Toronto who markets TV programs worldwide.
Soon after, the series was purchased by TVB8, a popular lifestyle and entertainment pay-tv channel which has an estimated broadcast reach of nearly 25 million viewers in Asia.
“It’s amazing to me how a pay-TV channel in China can have an audience size that nearly equals the entire population of Canada,” said Sayson.
And, in order to have the widest appeal to a Chinese speaking audience, Sayson had to have the entire series meticulously remixed and dubbed into Mandarin.
“I’ve always been passionate about travel, the outdoors and videography,” he added.
“To be able to produce a series about my home province, and then be able to share it with millions of people around the world is definitely one of the most rewarding experiences I’ve had thus far in my career.”
As for the future, Sayson is still marketing his B.C. travel series to other broadcasters around the world, with interest from stations in India, Italy and Thailand.
Canadian residents who missed the series during its local broadcast run can still watch episodes at www.westcoastadventurestv.com.