Deal follows 'Sofia's Diary' pact
BeActive, Portugal’s leading indie TV production house, is turning its Web series “Flatmates” into a TV series for Portuguese pubcaster RTP.Deal follows an option rights accord on “Flatmates” with Ireland’s Campbell Ryan Prods. for a U.K./Ireland online version. A short-format dramedy, “Flatmates” turns on three university students who live together. “Flatmates” will air daily on RTP starting in February before a weekend half-hour omnibus edition. The BeActive-RTP deal echoes a similar accord with RTP in 2005 on BeActive’s first Internet skein, teen drama “Sofia’s Diary,” which is often cited as an example of how to monetize online production. “Sofia’s Diary” shot to international attention after Sony Pictures Television Intl. bought worldwide remake rights for Internet, TV and mobile and then optioned them to a string of companies including Coyote Entertainment in France and Germany’s Sony TV. Sony also teamed with social-networking site Bebo for a U.K./Ireland interactive Web version of “Diary,” with terrestrial web Five as the broadcast partner. “Online series can monetize much or all of their production costs through sponsorship,” BeActive general manager Nuno Bernardo said. Sponsors on “Flatmates” include Ford, Nestle and Harmony. “Diary” and “Flatmates” were licensed to RTP rather than commissioned, allowing BeActive to retain rights and move into profits on the online/TV series via ancillary domestic deals, licensing and international sales, Bernardo added. BeActive also has inked with Brazilian mobile telco Oi to produce “Final Punishment,” an alternative reality game mixing Internet and mobile TV content, with plans to transfer it to TV.