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Series Mania: Sarandos, Rivkin, De Maio, Brown Bound for Lille Transatlantic Dialogs

Sarandos, Rivkin, De Maio, Brown Bound
Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/REX/2019 Shutterstock/ Prime Video

Netflix chief content officer Ted Sarandos, MPAA chairman-CEO Charles Rivkin, Lorenzo De Maio, head of TV advisory and partner, Endeavor Content, and Georgia Brown, Amazon Studios head of European Originals will all deliver keynote speeches at the 2nd Lille Transatlantic Dialogs.

They will be joined by an effective French TV high command featuring Gilles Pélisson, CEO, TF1 Group, France’s biggest broadcast network group, Nicolas de Tavernost, chairman of the executive board & CEO, of France’s M6 Group, its second biggest commercial broadcaster, and Delphine Ernotte, CEO, France Télévisions, France’s public broadcaster, who will all also deliver keynote speeches in Lille.

Running March 27, the unique event works as both a U.S.-E.U. political summit, a platform for ambitious news announcements and a forum for reflection and debate of key industry issues.

Two at least look certain to be tabled this year: Relations between writers and platforms, fore-fronted by the E.U’s Copyright Directive, which is the subject of the main morning panel; and market concentration and changing production models, which will be debated by independent producers and executives from ITV, Fremantle and Beta Film, three companies which have helped drive concentration in Europe, as well as placing their faith in some of the most exciting foreign-language series coming from Europe and beyond, co-producing or distributing the titles.

Franck Riester, France’s Minister of Culture, will deliver a closing speech. The day opens with a presentation of figures for the U.S. and European markets made by Eurodata.

Last year’s Dialogs saw Ernotte unveil first projects in a pan-European SVOD alliance with RAI and ZDF to produce high-end drama across a variety of genres.

The Dialogs climaxed with Reed Hastings, Netflix chairman-CEO, sounding an early note of détente with the European Union and most especially France, proclaiming that “it’s up to us in every country to participate, and follow regulations.”

One year later, Netflix is proving hugely successful in Europe’s heartland, being close to surpassing incumbents’ subscription bases in the U.K., Germany and France, and allying for carriage with market leader Movistar + in Spain.

One ever larger question which may surface at Lille is whether in a context of far greater competition between global streamers for overseas viewership that is unlikely to subscribe, analysts argue, to more than two international platforms, Netflix and other platforms may prove more flexible on to-date mantras such as 100% retention of rights on its productions.

Certainly, the dramatic revolution in high-end production in Europe is still in evolution. As Netflix’s European executives – led by Kelly Luegenbiehl, VP international originals Europe/Turkey/Africa, insisted at a hot-ticket Netflix panel at Berlin’s Drama Series Days – there’s no one size fits all. A select audience will be very keen to see what models Sarandos may suggest for the immediate future.