Natpe: Spain’s Atresmedia, Video Mercury Ink Strategic Alliance To Launch Movie Channel Atrescine

New TV service, aimed at U.S. Hispanic and Latin American TV markets

Javier Nuche
Roberto Garver

Atresmedia Internacional, owned by Spain’s TV giant Atresmedia, is joining forces with Video Mercury Films, the country’s biggest movie rights owner, to launch Spanish film channel Atrescine, aimed to the U.S. Hispanic and Latin American TV markets.

Atrescine will begin broadcasting by the end of February or in early March. The announcement was made Wednesday, Jan. 17, at Miami’s Natpe.

The new channel is fruit of a strategic alliance, in which Atresmedia Internacional brings to the table its Latino TV market know-how and Video Mercury its powerful movie catalogue, which encompasses more than 7,000 film titles.

“Being a strategic agreement, not a mere content purchase, both partners aim for Atrescine to become the reference channel of Spanish film,” said Javier Nuche, Atresmedia Internacional general director.

One large question is how Atrescine will sit aside Mis Películas TV, the Spanish film channel Video Mercury launched in 2013, targeting the U.S. and Latin American TV markets.

Broadcast in HD, Atrescine will be the fourth TV service in Atresmedia Internacional’s bouquet portfolio, which already includes Antena 3, an international feed of Atresmedia programming; Atreseries Internacional, a channel showcasing the group’s TV dramas; and celebrity/lifestyle service Hola! TV.

Positioned in the Latino TV market as the strongest non-U.S. operator, Atresmedia Internacional reaches 51 million overseas households, 90% of them via U.S. and Latin American cable and satellite TV platforms, having near quadrupled its subscribers number since four years ago, when Hola! TV launched.

“We want to be as relevant as possible in the international arena and having a diversified and complementary portfolio helps that goal. With a package of different channels we have more strength as a programmer, bringing more value to cable operators,” Nuche said.

Owned by powerful Spanish film-TV businessman Enrique Cerezo, Video Mercury is the biggest distributor of Spanish movies, controlling over 70% of local film titles produced and still surviving since the beginning of Spanish cinema.

Video Mercury’s catalogue includes titles from classic award-winning filmmakers such as Luis García Berlanga, Luis Buñuel and José Luis Garci, plus movies toplined by past and present international stars such as Sara Montiel, Rocío Dúrcal, Antonio Banderas, Penélope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

The new channel programming will be complemented by features produced by Atresmedia Cine, Atresmedia’s movie production arm, a driving force behind Spanish film sector, which released nine titles in  2017 and scored a huge 31.8% share of box office in Spain on all national theatrical bows.

“In a context of change, cable operators’ gamble of launching OTT platforms, given greater bandwidth, will allow us to bring a much more flexible commercial offer to the market. A channel like Atrescine can find its place in this OTT environment,” Nuche said.