International TV Newswire: Mediapro IPO, ‘Monteperdido’ Reups

Jaume Roures and Tatxo Benet

In this week’s International TV Newswire: the logic of an Mediapro IPO; TVE’s ‘Monteperdido’s’ renewed.


The big TV news from Spain this week, at least according to financial newspaper “El Confidencial,” is that Mediapro, the Barcelona based multinational is preparing to seek an initial stock market listing. Potential investors should not hold their breath. It looks very unlikely to happen this year. Given that, the value sought by Mediapro, according to El Confidencial, of €3 billion ($3.3 billion) seems pure speculation. There is a logic, however, to a mid-term stock market float, as one of the ways to finance further growth at Mediapro as it drives ever more into high-end drama series production without abandoning its past core business of sports right brokering and services. Mediapro’s chief executives Jaume Roures and Taxto Benet have never discounted the move, even after Chinese private equity firm Orient Hontai Capital acquired  53.5% in Mediapro in February 2018. Initial Public Offerings “inspire more trust, and, as the sector consolidates, we need the scale an IPO can give,”  Benet told Variety in March, outlining options for Mediapro’s future. There are other ways of courting finance to drive growth. The bottom line is that scale is a virtue in today’s landscape. Mediapro already has that: It has global revenues for 2018 of €2.0 billion ($2.2 billion), up 19% on 2017, offices in 56 cities and counting, and has 34 drama series in various phases of production this year. But it needs further muscle to take advantage of large opportunities ahead.


VOD sports streaming platform DAZN, Mark Wahlberg’s Unrealistic Ideas and Emmy winner Peter Berg’s Film 45 have entered into a multi-series co-production agreement to produce original, unscripted content for the digital platform. The deal kicks off with “40 Days: Golovkin-Rolls,” a chronicling of the eight weeks of grueling Monday-Friday training leading up to Gennadiy “GGG” Golovkin’s DAZN debut against undefeated challenger Steve Rolls. It’s the third in a series of “40 Days” specials. In previous editions, DAZN partnered with LeBron James and Maverick Carter from Uniterrupted ahead of this month’s Canelo vs. Jacobs clash, and Meek Mill and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation for Saturday night’s Anthony Joshua vs. Andy Ruiz, Jr. bout.


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French in origin but now internationally popular app TV Time has released its Anticipation Report for new and returning shows set to premiere in June, based on user-submitted data from around the world. For returning shows, Netflix demonstrates the strength of its international catalog with three series: U.K.’s “Black Mirror” at No. 1, Germany’s “Dark” No. 2, and Brazil’s “3%” at No. 5. HBO’s “Big Little Lies” came in at third and Hulu’s “The Handmaid’s Tale” fourth. The five most-anticipated new series were more diverse in their origins. In order, they are HBO’s YA drama “Euphoria,” Amazon Video’s “Too Old to Die Young” from Nicolas Winding Refn, ABC’s Eva Longoria-produced “Grand Hotel,” AMC’s literary adaptation “NOS4A2” and Showtime’s “City on a Hill,” co-created and produced by Ben Affleck.

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The big news at the RTVE Showcase, the Spanish public broadcaster’s annual display of new series, which saw a highly successful second edition this week, was that “The Hunt. Monteperdido,” has been renewed for a second season.

That’s despite the fact that its first season definitely has narrative closure. But its sales potential market share – a primetime 14%, 4.6 percentage points up on TVE 1’s channel average in April, are just too good to pass on. A classic missing persons crime thriller – two small girls go missing in the snowy woods of the high Pyrenees; one reappears five years later, but with amnesia – “Monteperdido” suggests perhaps a broader lesson. Produced by Banijay’s DLO Producciones, its average audience of 2.1 million is as if near all Netflix subscribers in Spain decided to watch the same show at the same time once a week for two months. It blows near any pay TV show audience in Spain out of the waters. And “Monteperdido” is far from the top free-to-air show in Spain: one episode of “Survivors,” across on Mediaset España’s Telecinco channel, notched up  4.4 million viewers in April. But it does suggest one way of facing off with the  global platforms is still making hit primetime series on free to air. Another is making a series for the global giants. Spain’s top production houses arre likely it do both, while seeking a new financing model for free-to-air which would allow them to bring equity to the table and retain rights. RTVE seems willing to accept this on its biggest productions. Broadcasters have very little choice.

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