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Spain’s Atresmedia, Brazil’s Globo Strike Strategic Partnership (EXCLUSIVE)

Agreement sees Atreseries becoming a first pay TV window in Latin America and the U.S. for Globo telenovelas and shorter-form series

MADRID — Two of the biggest, and most ambitious players in the Latino TV world, Brazil’s Globo and Spain’s Atresmedia Internacional, have struck a strategic agreement for Atresmedia’s overseas pay TV channel Atreseries to become the first pay TV window for Globo telenovelas, series and mini-series in Latin America and the U.S. Hispanic market.

Announced Thursday at the Hispanic TV Summit in New York, the partnership paves the way for the partners to explore further forms of collaboration, both partners suggested.

“The possibilities which come from working together are enormous,” said Javier Nuche, Atresmedia Internacional director general.

Globo “can establish partnerships to co-create original shows from Brazil and even from outside Brazil for the international market,” said Raphael Corrêa Netto, Globo executive director of international business. “There is a lot of excitement about the possibilities of what we can create for the future.”

Kicking in this month, the deal takes in over 500 hours a year of Globo telenovelas, serie and mini-series. First Globo series released on Atresmedia are “Sparkling Girls,” “Merciless” and “Empire.” They will join Atresmedia series such as “Apaches,” “Presunto Culpable,” and “Matadero.”

The alliance looks to enhance Globo’s distribution options, teaming with a fast-growing partner. Atremedia Internacional has a 55 million household reach for its four-channel pay TV bouquet which beams into North and Latin America (outside Brazil), the U.K., France, Netherlands, Switzerland and Australia. That figure makes Atresmedia the non-U.S. operator with most subscribers in Latin America, as well as Europe’s private-sector broadcaster with most international channels, according to Atresmedia. From September 2013, when Hola! TV launched, through June 2017, Atresmedia Internacional quadrupled its client base.

Launching outside Spain in 2014, Atreseries has achieved over 10 million subscribers. But Atresmedia wants  more. If we’re really going to compete on equal terms with U.S. series operators, we need a far bigger distribution lineup.The combined pipeline of series from Atresmedia and Globo will take us to that level,” said Javier Nuche, Atresmedia Internacional general director, calling the partnership “a watershed moment not only for Atreseries, but for the entire Atresmedia Group.”

Scheduled in access primetime, telenovelas, given they are stripped daily across schedules, can enhance Atreseries’ appointment viewing and attract new audiences to Atreseries.

Shorter format Globo series of 12-15 episodes will play primetime. Ate series will also carve out an early late night slot for Globo “Super Series,” with high production values and running 50-60 episodes.

“We’re leveraging Globo and Atresmedia shows, putting them together, targeting the U.S. Hispanic audiences and Spanish-speaking audiences in Latin America. The value proposition of the channel is very strong,” said Raphael Correa, Globo executive director of international business.

Going down just 10 days before Mipcom, the Globo-Atresmedia also underscores the building drive into co-distribution among the world’s biggest scripted fiction players. That comes as they seek to leverage their biggest content  across ever more platforms via increasingly sophisticated and flexible windowing arrangements.

The move comes, little more than two months after Netflix secured a preferential access agreement to distribute part of Atresmedia’s series output worldwide, building on its buys of multiple Atresmedia series such as “Velvet,” “Gran Hotel,” and “Money Heist.”

Atreseries will have the option to be the first pay TV window on Globo telenovelas and series. Globo telenovelas are likely to screen first on the Brazilian TV giant’s often decades-long free-to-air broadcast partners in Latin America, Correa said. Series may also air first on OTT before segueing to Atreseries.

“We are creating a new business that is creating value on top of the business that already exists,” Correa added, saying that Globo’s “free-to-air partners are extremely strategic to us, not only because of our strong commercial relationships, but because through them we can get Globo’s branded content to the greatest number of people and audience there is.”

Latin America’s major players are also reinforcing their signature channels, preparing for a world where operators offer skinny bundles. Fox Networks Group Latin America is producing innovative alternative TV (“The Host,” “Fox Talent”); Turner Latin America ramming up original drama series production, plus reality, and transferring sports to major channels.

Skinny bundles may be used more for fiction than other program types, said Nuche. “Series channels with pedigree catalog and potent exclusive windows can benefit from such a scenario.”

Globo is by a huge head Brazil’s biggest TV operator, in free-to-air and pay, its primetime telenovelas earning 40 million plus audiences. Punching revenues of € million (billion) last year, the biggest of any broadcast network in Spain, Atresmedia has kept to the forefront of Spanish TV production, co-producing “Velvet” and “Money Heist,” bought by Netflix and named in most-watched show in first quarter. Their fiction output has more in common than might be assumed. Both make melodramas, Bambu Producciones, a frequent Atresmedia partner, creating a modern, fast-paced version cast in liberal values which can appeal to the daughters and grand-daughters of telenovela aficionados. Telenovela writers such as Gloria Perez have bought a hallmark social edge to. Globo is ramping up short form series which can play as naturally on pay TV and indeed OTT, often , as free.-to-air.

One of Globo’s banner Mipcom titles, gender abuse drama-thriller “Harassment,” premiered late September on OTT platform Globo Play, and will not hit Globo free-to-air for at least a year, Correa pointed out. A 2017 MipDrama Screenings Grand Jury Prize winner, “Jailers” sold to both broadcast networks and OTT and pay TV operators abroad, he added.

“There is a feel, an emotional bond and content and manner of fore-fronting it which sets us apart from Nordic series, however fantastic,” said Nuche.

He added: Both of us have momentum as scripted series producers. We’re at a sweet moment in terms of production quality, and we should take advantages of it.”

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