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International TV Newswire: Soccer Rights, Netflix LatAm Thriller, New Danish TV Fest

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In this week’s International TV Newswire, Enders Analysis’ report casts shadow over European soccer rights, Netflix primes its Spanish-language star system, landing Manolo Caro for a new thriller, Denmark prepares a new series TV fest, and Spain’s Movistar Plus primes female voices.

European Soccer Faces ‘Post Boom’ – Report

Pele popularized the phrase “the beautiful game.” He never said that soccer was profitable. For broadcasters, it is often a loss leader, a must have for dominant pay-TV services, or networks looking to retain market share. Over this decade, as the prices TV operators were prepared to pay for soccer rose, soccer clubs never had it so good. Between the 2012/13 and 2017/18 seasons, revenues for the top five European leagues rose 7.7% in compound annual growth rate according to an Enders Analysis report published Friday, driven by broadcasting (up 9.9%), sponsorship (up 8.5%), match day (a 3.3% rise). But that may be as good as it gets. According to Enders Analysis, Spain is now the only country where the number of pay-TV subscribers is still rising, thanks to bundling with telecoms. “The decline of 10% in the revenues for the domestic rights of the European Premier League in the 2018 auction is a strong signal of incoming headwinds” for European soccer, the report says. There may still be some limited upside from sponsorship and out-of-Europe rights. The rise of Europe’s Super Clubs has helped globalize soccer. Long-term growth, the report suggests, may now depend on making these clubs slightly less super, stimulating competition in national leagues. “The Premier League has managed to keep the balance about right and, provided it stays on this track, its success points the way ahead for stressed Latin leagues. Try telling that to a Real Madrid fan.

Manolo Caro’s First Thriller Pushes Netflix Spanish-Language Star System

Quietly, Netflix is attempting another revolution: Creating a first star system in the biggest accessible language market in the world: Spain and Latin America. The first breakthrough came, prior Netflix, when the original variousness of 2011’s “Gran Hotel,” then “Velvet” spiked subscription to Atresmedia cable systems in Latin America, despite being spoken in Castilian Spanish. From last year, Netflix distribution of “La Casa de Papel” (“Money Heist”) turned its leads into global stars, so much so that Netflix analyzed their Instagram account followers before and after the series. Phase Three saw saw stars cross the Atlantic: Spain’s Paco Leon (“Aida”) to star in Netlix’s biggest Mexican Original, Manolo Caro’s “The House of Flowers.” Now comes Phase Four: Star directors traveling as well, beginning with Caro himself, who is set to direct his first thriller after five comedies, ”Alguien tiene que morir,” which is set and shot in Spain, and stars a mixed Spanish-Mexican cast led by Almodovar muse Carmen Maura and “The House of Flowers’” Cecilia Suarez. A star system will benefit Netflix. It might benefit the region’s movie industry as well whose titles rarely impact in other Spanish-language countries unless yielding star directors (Almodovar, Bayona, Amenabar) or actors who have made a name for themselves in Hollywood.

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New Danish TV Fest to Kick off in Aarhus

Denmark’s this.2019 digital storytelling and audience engagement event, held in October in the east-coast city of Aarhus, will host a new TV festival, series.2019 on the 29-31. Former DR media consultant Felicia Jackson will head the event, advised by DR head of drama Christian Rank, media expert Keld Reinicke and film and TV expert Ann Lind Andersen. The inaugural event will be focused on series for young adults, a theme echoing The Wit’s presentation at Mipcom which highlighted the global build in teen and YA content and single out Scandinavia as a standout territory for such content. In Aarhus, 12 previews and sneak peeks of upcoming Nordic series will screen, touching on topics such as alcohol, sex, drugs, relationships and more. Major titles featuring at the event include Barbosa-produced Norwegian series “Nudes,” the first ever non-English-language series to sell to BBC3; HBO Nordic’s “Beforeigners” and “Norsement,” the latest from “Skam” creator Julie Andem. A few major backers of the new event include HBO Nordic, Netflix, Nordisk Film, DR, TV2 Denmark, Xee as well as a host of other local and international entities.

Movistar Plus Ramps Up Female Voice Dramas, Now with ‘Supernormal’

Movistar Plus has gone into production with Spain’s Secuoya Group,on “Supernormal,” as Telefonica’s SVOD/pay TV unit  adds ever more original series which may or may not be created by women but certainly forefront women protagonists, voices or quandaries. Around half of Movistar+’s upcoming new series fall into that category, led by the just -bowed “Perfect Life.” Created and written by Marta Sánchez and Olatz Arroyo, whose credits include “Allí abajo,” a free-to-air smash hit for Atresmedia, and directed by Emilio Martínez-Lázaro – behind “Spanish Affair,” the highest-grossing national movie ever in Spain – “Supernormal” turns on Patricia (Miren Ibarguren), a woman of the year, super mom and head of an investment bank It also underscores the fact that for Movistar Plus, as many SVOD players, no series now is a niche play. All target broader audiences.