International TV Newswire: Streaming Sports, Gen Z on Power, Dutch Detectives & More

Borussia Dortmund head coach Lucien Favre, left, walks onto the pitch with players before an international friendly soccer match against the Seattle Sounders, in SeattleBorussia Dortmund Sounders Soccer, Seattle, USA - 17 Jul 2019
Ted S Warren/AP/Shutterstock

In this week’s International TV Newswire, catch up on Amazon’s soccer push, Gen Z’s thoughts on power structures, DAZN’s newest acquisitions in Europe, a rebooted detective drama in Amsterdam, A+E Networks executive shake-up in Asia and a new international animation alliance between Mondo TV Group and German upstart Toon2Tango.

Amazon Picks up Another Soccer Docu-Series: Live Sports Coming?

Amazon has grown its soccer catalog, picking up worldwide rƒights to “Inside Borussia Dortmund,” a chronicle of the German club’s 2018-19 season which saw it finish as Bundesliga runners-up to perennial power-house Bayern Munich on the final day of the season.

The four-part docu-series will go inside the locker-rooms and lives of players and staff with the first episodes premiering Aug. 16 and each subsequent episode launching weekly every Friday.

Amazon has already had success with soccer-themed content with “All or Nothing: Manchester City” which chronicled the club’s first year under super-coach Pep Guardiola, and “Six Dreams,” which tracked six players and staff from teams in Spain’s La Liga.

Other announced content includes Starbucks and Joe Roth-produced “This Is Football,” and the weekly U.K. series “Back of the Net,” hosted by English fan favorite Peter Crouch and produced by Sony’s Human Media.

Although often rumored to be part of bidding processes, it seems unlikely that Amazon will make a serious effort at acquisition for any major European league’s streaming rights.

According to Enders Analysis’ Francois Godard, “Amazon uses trial and error in a lot of areas where they try new things, including sports. I would bet high they will not start by making a big investment on European soccer. I think if they ever decide to go into premium high value sports, they will do it in the U.S. first.”

He sees the U.S. as a more logical starting point for Amazon as the company is better established in and more familiar with that market.

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Prime Video

Viacom’s New Study Reveals Gen Z’s Shifting Views on Power

Power in Progress, a new study from Viacom’s Global Consumer Insights and Viacom Velocity has revealed that Generation Z, the generation born between 1995 and 2015, views power more as “a collaborative exercise with collective benefits.”

“Young people coexist in a complex world, in which culture, economy, media and politics are constantly changing. There is no doubt that the swings of recent years have transformed the way this generation conceives power and institutions,” said Christian Kurz, SVP of Global Consumer Insights at Viacom Media Networks.

Some insights from Viacom’s interviews with 11,000 young people in 10 countries, included the following: 1. Power is changing because it’s embedded in the identities of today’s young generation. 2. Young people are collaborating in real time to gain power by harnessing attention and using media in new ways. 3. Power is a work in progress for young people; what was once considered disruptive is institutional to them.

Most revealing: “Half of young people believe that companies like Facebook, Amazon and Google are too big and powerful. Their values aren’t anti-institutional, however; 66% don’t see the system as a barrier to power.”

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Viacom International Media Networks

DAZN, Discovery Pact in Europe

Leading global sports-streamer DAZN has partnered with Discovery on a new distribution agreement which will see Eurosport channels Eurosport 1 and 2 HD made available in Austria, Germany, Italy and Spain. Although Eurosport already has its own OTT service, in Italy and Germany at least the content they will share with DAZN was already included in Sky subscription packages, which is where the majority of DAZN subscribers come from. For its part DAZN will offer more content in the four major territories, while Eurosport will be accessible to more viewers. The included rights are for Grand Slam Tennis, Formula E, WTCR and 24 Hours of Le Mans, cycling Grand Tours, the alpine skiing World Cup and World Championship winter sports events. Eurosport also has broadcast rights to Olympic Games coverage across the continent for the next three editions.

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ARD Degeto, All3Media Intl. Commission Detective Drama

Company Pictures is producing with NL Film & TV B.V the new Dutch procedural starring Marc Warren (“Safe,” “Mad Dogs”) and titled “Van Der Valk.” Currently being filmed in Amsterdam, the series will follow Van De Valk and his redoubtable partner Lucienne Hassell, played by Maimie McCoy (“The Three Musketeers”). ARD Degeto commissioned the series for broadcaster Das Erste. All3Media has announced pre-sales with France Télévisions in France, ITV in the U.K. and NPO Netherlands as the Dutch broadcast partner. The series is a reboot of a popular 1970s series which aired five seasons in total, the last in 1992.

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© 2019 Elmer van der Marel

A+E Networks Promotes Saugato Banerjee

In a move to consolidate the company’s pan-Asian operations under the control of a single executive, A+E Networks has promoted veteran executive Saugato Banerjee to managing director for all of Asia. Having until-now held the role of managing director for North Asia, Banerjee will add to that responsibility the managing of company activities in Southeast Asia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and India. According to a statement, his responsibility will be to chart the continued growth and expansion of the company’s networks across the region. In the past, Banerjee oversaw digital operations and research functions in North Asia. He also acted as caretaker general manager of AETN 18 in India during a time of change at that network.

Mondo TV Group, Toon2Tango Partner on Strategic Alliance

Pan-European animation production-distribution company Mondo TV Group has joined forces with newly-launched German kids and family entertainment company Toon2Tango on a development, production and distribution pact. The goal is to produce and distribute at least eight high-end series with strong merchandizing appeal over the next four years. The projects will be aimed towards the international market, with Mondo TV focusing primarily on Southern Europe and Asia while Toon2Tango will manage Northern and Central Europe and all English-language territories, with distribution, licensing and merchandise rights varying by territory.