Sky Studios and Italy’s The Apartment, the Fremantle-owned production company headed by Lorenzo Mieli, have forged a multi-year development and production partnership that marks Sky’s first agreement of this type outside the U.K.
Under the deal, Sky Studios, which is the Comcast-owned pay-TV broadcaster dedicated production arm, will provide The Apartment development funding for a minimum of three shows alongside a commitment to produce.
Mieli, a co-founder of Fremantle’s Wildside and the producer behind globally successful shows such as “The Young Pope” and “My Brilliant Friend,” as well as Luca Guadagnino’s upcoming “We Are Who We Are,” founded The Apartment, which is a separate Italian Fremantle unit, in January 2020 as an incubator of high-end projects for the international market.
The deal, which is non-exclusive, strengthens the existing tie between Mieli and Sky that started with Paolo Sorrentino’s “The Young Pope.”
The agreement with Sky Studios is very flexible as far as who would handle distribution outside of the territories where Sky operates which are U.K., Ireland, Italy, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Spain. Sky is the largest satellite TV operator in Europe with roughly 23 million subs.
Launched last June Sky Studios has currently has 52 scripted shows in production across Europe. Sky has also announced plans for Sky Studios Elstree, a new film and TV studio with 14 sound stages that’s set to open in 2022.
The Belgian media company DPG Media is aligning with Telenet to launch a new streaming service for the Flemish market this year.
Telenet currently has 400,000 customers for its Play and Play More services, while DPG operates the AVOD VTM GO and has developed a platform for its own paid streaming service. The companies will pool their resources to launch a joint platform this year as a standalone paid app and via the Play service. The JV will deliver content from DPG Media’s assets (which include VTM) and Telenet’s local and international content. The platform is looking to other Flemish partners, such as VRT, to join the service.
The 50-50 JV is pending approval from the local competition authorities. Once it received the green light, the new company is expected to be operational by the fall. The name of the platform, pricing and launch date have not been confirmed.
Mediacorp will be renaming OTT service Toggle to meWATCH, as well as digital radio MeRadio to meLISTEN. This move will also see loyalty programme MeClub renamed as meREWARDS. On 30 January 2020, the media conglomerate’s digital products will be brought under an umbrella of “me” branding. Mediacorp is also launching a single sign-on platform, meCONNECT.
meWATCH will continue to offer free access to local on-demand dramas, entertainment, news, sports and LIVE programmes. Content from partners like beIN Sports, HBO GO and tvN Movies will also be available with a subscription. Mediacorp inked a partnership with YouTube earlier this year. It also partnered with VICE to offer Singaporeans access to the latter’s curated video series on Toggle, which rides on VICE’s youth audience and authentic storytelling.
Following months of reported negotiations, The Mediapro Studio, the production-distribution powerhouse launched by Spain’s Mediapro Group this March, has acquired Andreu Buenafuente’s Barcelona-based El Terrat, Spain’s premier comedy brand.
No price was given for the acquisition, which involves 100% of El Terrat shares.
El Terrat founder owner and “Late Motiv” host Andreu Buenafuente will continue to head up El Terrat under TMS ownership, with Agustí Esteve remaining as executive director.
The deal gives The Mediapro Studio access to Spain’s biggest comedy force in terms of profile, talent, and production capacity. Comedy creatives at El Terrat include Andreu Buenafuente himself, the embodiment of late-night humor for upscale Spaniards, whose monologues on “Late Motiv” strike a note of tolerant bemusement at current events, often political in nature, contrasting with the acrid confrontation of contemporary Spain.
Other El Terrat comedians take in longtime collaborator Berto Romero, creator of sitcom “Mira lo que has hecho,” a fresh take on parenting and hit on top Spanish pay TV/SVOD platform Movistar Plus, David Broncano, the fast-talking 30-something host of late late-night show “La Resistencia,” as well as Quequé, presenter of comedic news show “LocoMundo”, comedian Raul Cimas, a “Late Motiv” and “LocoMundo” regular, and popular film-TV actress and impersonator Silvia Abril (“Padre no hay más que uno”).
El Terrat’s current or recent production slate features nine TV shows on air, due to return or in pre-production; plus three radio programs, six theater productions, a comedy festival, Singlot, now in its sixth year, and two podcasts.
The new Mediapro deal will now give El Terrat the financial backing, distribution, and production contacts, capacity and formats to address its international expansion.
Polish public broadcaster Telewizja Polska (TVP) has launched an international co-production division and is looking for formats to remake as well as partners for domestic shows that can work globally.
TVP is Poland’s largest domestic TV network, with an array of regional networks and 13 national channels including flagships TVP1 and TVP2, which both offer scripted product.
The global co-production arm is being run by Jaroslaw Burdek, TVP’s head of international co-productions and formats. 10 scripted projects are already in the works, but with details currently under wraps.
It will be crucial for co-produced shows to have a local component. Shows in the works explore crime and historical genres, but there are also opportunities for documentary programming.
Source: TBI Vision
Global streaming giant, Netflix has struck a multi-year deal with Studio Dragon, a three-year old production house that has become one of the hottest content houses in Korea.
The deal is described as a three-year strategic partnership, highlighted by a multi-year content production and distribution agreement, that begins from 2020. Studio Dragon’s parent company CJ ENM also has the right to sell a 4.99% equity stake in the producer to Netflix.
It is understood that Studio Dragon and will produce specific new series for Netflix. The streamer, which is already streaming five series from the company, will also be able to acquire distribution rights to other Studio Dragon titles.
Korean series, which are known for their high production values, quality screenwriting and good-looking stars, have become a source of competition for global and regional streaming services operating in Asia. Although many shows have been labeled as originals by the streamers, in many cases Korean rights have been handled by local broadcasters.
Netflix has a large roster of Korean series from Studio Dragon and other providers. Its shows from Studio Dragon include: “Stranger,” “Mr. Sunshine,” “Memories of Alhambra,” “Romance is A Bonus Book,” and “Arthdal Chronicles.”
The output deal, which were first reported on October 29th, applies across Sky’s European markets and will allow the company’s networks and OTT service Now TV to offer HBO shows as well as programming from Warner Bros. and Turner channels. It expands on the original deal between Sky and HBO struck in 2010, which was extended in 2014 by Sky for its UK and Ireland operation. The pact was then further expanded a year later following the acquisition of Sky Deutschland and Sky Italia.
The deal, which has provided shows such as “Watchmen”, “Succession”, “Game Of Throne”s and “Big Little Lies” to Sky, is understood to have been due to run out in 2020. Sky did not confirm the length of the new deal, saying only it would run for many years to come, but it is understood to be a five-year arrangement. Sky has also confirmed plans that will see its newly launched Sky Studios division co-producing HBO Max content. Sky Studios will work with the HBO Max programming team to produce premium drama and scripted entertainment as part of a multi-year deal, the European operator said. The all-encompassing agreement extends Sky’s deep relationship with HBO, which was bolstered in 2017 when the two companies unveiled a $250m high-end drama co-pro deal. That arrangement recently delivered hit drama “Chernobyl”, while Sky and HBO’s latest co-production is “Catherine The Great”.
Meanwhile, Apple’s long-awaited streaming video service went live early on November 1st. Apple TV+ is a $4.99-per-month service featuring original TV shows and movies bankrolled by Apple. According to the company, the service initially launched in over 100 countries and region. The service’s original line-up of content includes fewer than 10 programs coming Friday and a total of 15 in the initial slate. Shows available on the service now include “The Morning Show,” “See,” “Dickinson” and “For All Mankind”. It also includes a few shows for kids like “Helpsters,” “Ghostwriter” and “Snoopy in Space.” Oprah Winfrey is also hosting a talk show called “Oprah’s Book Club”.
These two new OTT service are entering a crowded market as Disney’s Disney+ service launches later in November, offering content from brand-name franchises like Marvel and “Star Wars” for $6.99 per month. Meanwhile, NBCUniversal is planning to launch services early next year.
Source : TBI Vision / Senal News
French entertainment group Banijay has reached an agreement to buy 100% of Endemol Shine Group (ESG).
The two companies announced the agreement on Saturday with Banijay taking ownership of ESG from The Walt Disney Company, which picked up its stake as part of its buy-out of 21st Century Fox assets last year, and Apollo Global Management.
The move will create the biggest production and distribution company in the world with a catalogue of close to 100,000 hours of shows and series. The acquisition, which is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approval, will encompass ESG’s 120 production companies with an estimated 66,000 hours of scripted and non-scripted programming together with over 4,300 registered formats.
The move will give Banijay ownership of series and formats including "Black Mirror", "Versailles", "The Millennium Trilogy", "Peaky Blinders", "Big Brother", "MasterChef", "Survivor", "Temptation Island", "Wife Swap" and "The Island". Upon completion, Banijay will own almost 200 production companies in 23 territories. Total revenue of the combined group is expected to be approximately €3bn (US$3.6bn) for 2019.
Vice Media Group has struck a deal to purchase digital media company Refinery29 months after speculation first emerged that the two brands were in talks to merge. The deal, signed by Vice Media CEO Nancy Dubuc and Refinery29 co-CEOs Justin Stefano and Philippe von Borries, cements the new operation as one of the world’s largest digital media businesses.
Refinery29, a digital mediaco catering to women, will remain a distinct brand within the Vice Media Group portfolio, bolstering the millennial-focused brand’s content and diversifying its audiences.
The merger will allow both media companies to reach “male and female audiences and consumers equally,” creating “a total youth media audience with growing attention towards this generation’s non-binary audience,” according to Vice Media.
As part of the acquisition, content production across all platforms is expected to grow by 20%.
As Refinery29 has ramped up its global expansion, it has also moved further into unscripted and scripted content. Following the acquisition, it will continue to create programming across a range of verticals and produce a slate of premium original film and TV projects, including a short-film series titled Shatterbox Anthology, which is focused on increasing opportunities for women in film. The company’s originals production capabilities and pipeline of projects will add to Vice’s Studio business with original content, talent and IP.
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