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Bavaria smallscreen unit provides coin

Savvy spinoff seeks sales and partnerships

Bavaria Media Television handles TV sales, international co-productions and international distribution of TV movies and series produced by local and global players. Among its staples: long-running crime series “Tatort” and daily soap “Marienhof.”

The unit is one of two subsidiaries of Bavaria Media, the global sales arm of Bavaria Film group that handles all international distribution of its parent company’s vast TV and feature film library. BMT was spun off from Bavaria Film in 1997, and since June has been headed by Rolf Moser.

The other subsid is feature film sales unit Bavaria Film Intl. (see story, page A20).

Led by Oliver Kreuter, who likewise took the reins in June, Bavaria Media Television has a current slate that includes ARD’s hit telenovela “Storm of Love,” which has become a hot seller for the company; “White Menace: The Avalanche of the Century,” a big-budget disaster movie for Germany’s RTL and France’s TF1, where it recently attracted 7.8 million viewers and a 28.2% share; Spanish miniseries “Serrallonga,” about the legendary 17th-century Catalonian rebel; and TF1’s new French telenovela “Second Chance.”

“Our strategy is to work with partners, small companies, broadcasters — we are open to all,” says Bavaria Film group managing director Matthias Esche. “That’s our strength. We are eager to work with both public and commercial broadcasters.”

About 10% of Bavaria Film group’s total production output, the lion’s share of which is TV, currently goes to commercial webs, such as RTL and ProSiebenSat.1. The remainder is produced in conjunction with the Bavaria group’s shareholding pubcasters. Esche says he’d like to see the commercial share climb to 20%.

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