There has been an exponential hike in international sales for non-English-language drama series as the TV business has become increasingly global.
Spain’s no exception. Traditionally, international buyers were looking for local primetime TV fiction such as Diagonal’s period skein “Isabel,” which has been acquired by RAI in Italy, the 82nd territory nabbing the series.
The global explosion of OTTs has propelled a new culture of Spanish TV fiction consumption.
“Spanish drama works excellently on premium platforms and is definitely not only for the Hispanic world,” says Christian Gockel, EVP acquisitions & sales at Beta Film.
Handled by Beta, Telefonica-Movistar Plus’ “La Zona,” a thriller set in a nuclear plant meltdown, has been taken by Starz in the U.S., France’s Canal Plus and Germany’s ZDF.
“We are at a key moment where non-traditional territories are betting on Spanish drama,” Gockel adds.
“Money Heist” came close to being a global Netflix phenomenon. The streaming giant also picked up worldwide rights to another high-end, free-to-air series, Aitor Gabilondo’s “Unauthorized Living,” broadcast by Mediaset España.
“Velvet Collection,” another RAI pickup for Italy, became the first Movistar + original series to be sold to Netflix for international.
Atresmedia and Netflix inked a strategic deal giving Netflix the right and obligation to acquire a significant part of new titles produced under the Series Atresmedia label, says José Antonio Salso, Atresmedia head of acquisitions and sales . Pact encompasses hits such as “Fariña” and “The Cathedral of the Sea.”
Amazon Prime Video will offer new Atresmedia series “Presunto Culpable” and “Matadero” in Spain and Latin America, after their Spanish free-to-air releases.
Produced by Mediapro-Globomedia for Atresmedia, the first two seasons of prison thriller “Vis a Vis” were acquired by Amazon Prime in the U.S., and received a VOD Walter Presents premiere on British Channel 4.
“Vis a Vis’” third season, teaming Globomedia and Fox Network Group España, will be launched by Global Series Network in the U.K.
Imagina Intl. Sales, Mediapro’s distribution arm, also sold to Channel 4 Emilio Aragón’s thriller “Pulsaciones.” It was licensed to Netflix Latin America and Mexico’s TV Azteca, becoming the first Spanish series on Arabic network MBC.
“There is an incredible pool of movie directors and on-screen talent. Combined with quality screenwriting, that means that Spanish producers excel in creating good, original thrillers and dramas,” says Emmanuelle Guilbart, at France’s About Premium Content.
Handled by APC, Enrique Urbizu’s thriller “Gigantes” premiered at the San Sebastian Film Festival. “We have already pre-sold to Germany and Latin America except Brazil,” Guilbart says.
On Sept. 1, the U.K.’s BBC4 began broadcasting Alberto Rodríguez’s flagship period thriller “The Plague.”
A more recent phenomenon, TV format rights sales, particularly to the U.S., suggests another qualitative leap.
Created by Daniel Écija, “Estoy Vivo,” a Mediapro-Globomedia production for TVE, is being developed by David Wilcox (“Bull”) for CBS. It joins an already long list of U.S. Spanish series adaptations, such as “The Red Band Society” (ABC), “The Mysteries of Laura” (NBC) and “Star Crossed” (the CW).
Recent U.S. deals encompass drama pilots of Bambú’s “Grand Hotel” and “La Embajada” for ABC, executive produced by Eva Longoria.
Onza has even inked with Beijing’s Guan Yue Intl. on Chinese adaptation rights to “The Department of Time.”