Kuala Lumpur, 22 June 2009 – Contender Asia fans, your favourite Muay Thai reality show will be filmed and produced right here in Malaysia from July to August. At the Contender Asia Season 2 Media Conference today, Tourism Minister Dato’ Sri Dr. Ng Yen Yen congratulated the Osys Group for bringing the USD7 million Hollywood reality TV series to Malaysia. Osys won the much coveted bid against other keen parties such as the USA, Macau, Australia, Thailand and Singapore (who hosted the first season of Contender Asia).
“We see this as an excellent collaboration between the private sector and the Government to promote Malaysia to the world,” said Dr. Ng. “As the host country, we would ensure that the production crew and contestants experience the best of Malaysia’s authentic hospitality. We will also avail our tourism council teams to be at the production team’s beck and call to reduce any red tapes and bureaucracy.”
Mr. Riaz Mehta, Executive Producer of Contender Asia 2and President of Imagine OmniMedia Pte Ltd stated that the continued exposure and promotion of Malaysia with every airing of contender Asia 2 would be worth over USD100 million in media and PR value. The hugely popular and successful Emmy Award nominee Contender Asia Season One was aired in prime time in over 40 countries including the USA, UK, Australia and Asia.
“With Mark Burnet helming the project as producer and being supported by a stellar group of cast and crew, Contender Asia 2 promises to top Season One in terms of quality and a higher calibre of contestants ever seen before on TV,” Mehta added. The illustrious crew include award-winning lighting expert Michael Koepke of Iron Man 1 & 2, and Survivor fame; and award-winning art director Brian Edmonds of Wolverine.
Sixteen of the best Muay Thai fighters from 14 different nations (including 2 from Malaysia) will compete to be the last man standing and earn the Contender title. The fighters will move into the Contender House in the beginning of July and be divided into two groups. Each week, the fighters and their personal dramas as they live and work with each other will be filmed, leading up to the adrenaline pumping elimination face-off in the ring.
Contender Asia will be hosted by local celebrity Marion Caunter and Stephan Fox, the International Co-ordinator and Vice President of the World Muay Thai Council. The 15-episode Contender Asia Season 2 is scheduled to debut on AXN this October.
It won’t all be fighting and personal drama though. The fighters will also be filmed enjoying the beauty and hospitality at the numerous attractions of Malaysia throughout its 40 days of filming such as Mulu Caves, Langkawi, Kellie’s Castle, Penang, Melaka, Terengganu, Lata Jarum in Pahang, Batu Caves and homestays in Selangor, Sabah, Kuala Lumpur and a dinner cruise at Putrajaya.
“I am confident that the tremendous publicity that can be generated by Contender Asia Season 2 will help raise awareness of all that Malaysia has to offer and to entice foreign tourists to visit our country and consider participating in our Malaysia My Second Home program,” Dr. Ng concluded.