Alarm for Cobra

Rookie sales giant pumps up bottom line

 

Telepool and Bavaria Film formed a giant last year in world sales joint venture Global Screen, and the result has been a boom for the bottom line.

Headed by Telepool CEO Thomas Weymar and Bavaria Media managing director Rolf Moser, Global Screen took over the responsibilities and operations of Telepool and Bavaria’s individual international sales units, handling one of the biggest catalogs in Europe and targeting sales and distribution of films and TV programming outside German-speaking territories. Both Telepool and Bavaria are majority owned by affiliates of pubcaster behemoth ARD.

“The results of the first year have been very satisfying given the fact that the company had to get started,” Weymar says. “It shows us that there is a strong market demand for our programs.”

Weymar adds that because the merger of Telepool and Bavaria’s world sales divisions was seamless and quick, the new outfit was able to immediately impact revenue growth.

“We profit from both a stronger sales force through a stronger presence and the large film catalogs of both Telepool and Bavaria Media. The revenues were higher than before the merger,” he says.

Children’s features have proven hugely successful for Global Screen and its focus has shifted slightly toward more family entertainment as a result, although commercial arthouse remains another strong genre for the company, Weymar says.

Global Screen’s current top titles include Erik Poppe’s “A Thousand Times Goodnight,” about a female war photographer under increasing pressure from her family to give up her dangerous profession, starring Juliette Binoche and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau; the animated Christmas-themed “Niko 2: Little Brother,” “Big Trouble,” the sequel to the hugely successful reindeer adventure “Niko and the Way to the Stars” (aka “The Flight Before Christmas”); “The 7th Dwarf,” an animated prequel to the hit live-action “Seven Dwarfs” films starring local funnyman “Otto Waalkes;” and Franziska Buch’s tyke comedy-adventure “Yoko,” about a yeti who makes his way from the Himalayas to Germany, where he befriends a young girl.

On the TV front, Global Screen offers series, event movies and documentaries.

In addition to content from its pubcaster shareholders, Global Screen will continue to handle world sales for RTL.

RTL and Telepool renewed their distribution pact in April six years after their first long-term agreement. The deal includes international rights to all RTL programming outside of German-speaking territories, including such titles as hit cop series “Alarm for Cobra 11;” crime skein “Double Trouble;” and new series “The Teacher” and “Medcrimes.”

“The RTL productions have proven to be a very important asset to our existing program catalog,” Weymar says.

In addition to “Alarm for Cobra 11,” Global Screen’s other top TV sellers include ARD’s hit telenovela “Storm of Love” and the pubcaster’s “Finest Fairy Tales” series, based on the classic works of the Brothers Grimm and Hans Christian Andersen; docu two-parter “The Medici Files,” which focuses on a massive forensic investigation into the lives and deaths of the powerful Renaissance-era Medici family; and “The Big Five of South America,” a five-part nature series that follows expeditions in search of a quintet of rare animal species in South America.

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