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International TV Newswire: Spanish Sanctions, Topic Buys, Intaglio’s Originals

In this week’s International TV Newswire, major Spanish broadcasters get stung for anti-competitive practices, Intaglio preps two new English-language series out of Berlin, A+E Networks EMEA’s executive team is announced, Topic picks up a trio of Eccho Rights Scandinavian series and “Finding Joy” gets a second season on RTÉ and Acorn TV.

CNMC Sanctions Mediaset and Atresmedia for Anticompetitive Practices

Spain’s Comisión Nacional de los Mercados y la Competencia – CNMC has levied sanctions totaling €77.1 million ($85 million) – split almost 50/50 – against the country’s two biggest broadcasters, Mediaset and Atresmedia, for the claimed practice of anti-trust policies in the booking of TV advertising. According to the CNMC, the two developed policies in the sale of TV ads which resulted in a joint market share between their channels exceeding 85% of the entire TV advertising market in Spain, deemed as a higher figure than should exist in a competitive market. The CNMC has given the companies three months to adjust their strategies. In order to mitigate the fine, the broadcasters can appeal to the national court within the next two months. They most certainly will.

Eccho Rights Sells Three Scandi Titles to Streaming Platform Topic

Ahead of its Nov. 21 launch and hot off the heels of announcing the addition of a raft of Australian series, North American SVOD service Topic has announced three Scandinavian titles which will be available on the services, sold by Eccho Rights. Swedish drama “Honour,” recently renewed for a second season, broke records on Scandinavian platform Viaplay when it premiered in August. A second Swedish series, “Conspiracy of Silence,” produced by Brain Academy and directed by “Outlander’s” Charlotte Brändström, explores the world of international arms trading. And lastly, the award-winning Chile-Finland co-production “Invisible Heroes,” about Finnish diplomat Tapani Brotherus who helped secure European asylum for more than 2,000 Chileans viewed as enemies of the state by Pinochet’s murderous military regime.

Intaglio Films Developing New Series “Doing Good,” “Concordia”

Beta Film and ZDF Enterprise’s Intaglio Films, a Berlin-based joint venture between the two of the most enterprising of companies in the GermanTV business, is developing two new such series: “Doing Good,” an international drama created by Peter Berry (“Gangs of London”, “Prime Suspect”), and “Concordia,” a new-future thriller from Mike Walden (“The Frankenstein Chronicles”, U Want Me 2 Kill Him). Intaglio Films’ Emmy-winning creative director Frank Doelger (“Rome,” “John Adams,” “Game of Thrones”) will executive produce both series, with Friedemann Goez (“Atlantic Crossing,” “Hudson & Rex”) producing. Both series will be presented at the In Conversation: Frank Doelger, Intaglio Films session at December’s Content London showcase. Intaglio develops, finances and produces scripted English language drama.

A+E Networks EMEA Names Central Leadership Team

A+E Networks EMEA managing director Dean Possenniskie has announced the central management team for the Europe, Middle East and Africa. Heather Jones will continue as SVP of content and creative in charge of strategy and execution of programming, marketing, creative, communications and research. She will also continue as U.K. general manager and chairperson of Coba U.K. Adrian Pilkington, SVP of commercial and digital, will be responsible for revenue lines and commercial activities including distribution, ad sales and sponsorships. He continues as general manager for Northern Europe and EMEA. Mark Neil, SVP of finance, will consolidate and lead financial management; Karl Burnette, VP and HR will lead people strategy; and Matt Westrup, VP of technology and Operations, will lead technology deployment, distribution and post-production. The team is tasked with driving strategy and operations alongside A+E Networks EMEA teams in London, Munich, Rome, Madrid, Warsaw and Johannesburg.

Acorn TV and Acorn Media Commission Season 2 of “Finding Joy”

AMC Network’s Acorn TV, along with Acorn Media Enterprises (AME) and Irish broadcaster RTÉ, have announced that Irish comedy “Finding Joy” will return for a second season. Created, written and starring Irish Film & TV Academy-winner Amy Huberman (“Striking Out,” “The Clinic”), the series was RTÉ’s highest-rated comedy debut of 2018, and received international critical praise. The series follows recently single Joy, a young woman happy with things the way they are who has her life thrown into turmoil when she is forced to step in for Ireland’s most beloved vlogger. Season 2 will premiere as an Acorn TV Original on the Acorn TV streaming platform next summer before premiering in Ireland on RTÉ.


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