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Endemol Shine Iberia Looks to Economies of Scale, Synergies, Digital, Drama

New merged company creates indie Iberian titan

MADRID – Endemol Shine Group has announced the creation of Endemol Shine Iberia, a Spain-Portugal regional creative production hub that reps an indie titan for the region joining Shine Iberia, Zeppelin, Gestmusic, Diagonal TV and Endemol Portugal.

Scale counts. With Endemol Spain m.d. Pilar Blasco (pictured) appointed managing director of Endemol Shine Iberia, and Macarena Rey and Lurdes Guerreiro retained as CEO of Shine Iberia and Endemol Portugal managing director, respectively, Endemol Shine Iberia launches as Spain looks to be on the rebound. Its ad market grew 10% in January, the same last month, with Atresmedia, one of its two dominant broadcast networks, predicting it to grow a full year 7%-10% in 2015.

But margins remain tight. Atresmedia posted €46.7 million ($49.4 million) 2014 net profit off revenue of $93.4 million. Mediaset España, its rival in an effective Spanish ad market duopoly took $62.9 million off $986 million in sales.

In this still-straitened context, rolling off last year’s merger of Endemol, Shine and Core Media, the newly formed Endemol Shine Group boasts a formidable lineup of companies, head execs (all unchanged) and local hits. The former including Jaime Guerra, managing director of Madrid’s Zeppelin TV; Tivet Rubira, managing director at Barcelona’s Gestmusic; Joan Bas and Jaume Banaculocha, co-managing directors of Diagonal TV, also in Barcelona. Endemol Spain’s Javier Garcia has taken the role of chief finance and operations officer. Jordi Bosch becomes chairman of Endemol Shine Iberia.

Of high-rating shows, in the non-scripted domain, ESI has “Big Brother,” aired on Telecinco, Mediaset España’s flagship commercial channel; Shine Iberia’s “MasterChef,” a big draw for pubcaster TVE 1; and Endemol’s “The Money Drop” and its locally created “Your Face Sounds Familiar” on Antena 3. In the low-cost, high-volume scripted arena, post-Civil War soap “Amar es para siempre” has aired since 2005 on TVE’s La 1 and, since 2013, on Antena 3.

“Through the different labels, we have a broad range of offering across genres and across budgets and strong relationships with all of the broadcasters,” said Martha Brass, co-CEO of international operations at Endemol Shine Group.

“They can rely on us for pretty much any requirement they have, whether a game that stretches five or six days per week and is very cost effective programming and rates well, or a major event program to really drive their schedule. They can also count on us for Endemol or Shine drama. We are reliable partners.”

Via Endemol Beyond, the company has already driven into the digital domain, launching Tuiwok Estudios, a YouTube multichannel digital network, in 2013.

Endemol Shine Iberia can also share resources, expertise and creative skills, streamlining back-office finance, legal and IT services, Brass said. It is studying the opportunity to combine the creative expertise it has in Spain, together with the relationships and production skills it has in Portugal, to expand into drama in Portugal, she added.

With Spain’s downturn and the purchase of smaller free-to-air broadcasters Cuatro by Mediaset España in 2009 and Sexta, by Atresmedia in 2012, “nowadays the fragmentation of content makers has made it very difficult for them to have any real clout when it comes to negotiating with such a reduced group of broadcasters in Spain,” said one analyst. “By joining together some of the better-known groups in Spain, Endemol Shine Iberia is not only stronger financially but stronger in a situation where they have to negotiate.”

Also “a highly diversified portfolio defends a group against sudden shifts in broadcaster taste, and a large group attracts talent,” he said.

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