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Mediapro Buys Canada’s Tri-Lite TV, Sets 2019 Roadmap

Furthering its expansion in  North America, Spain’s Mediapro has purchased Canadian services company Tri-Lite TV.

Put through by Mediapro Canada, the deal comes days after Mediapro confirmed the acquisition of 10-year rights to the Canadian Premiere League, a new soccer competition to launch April 27 across the country.

Mediapro has also announced global revenues for 2018 of €2.0 billion ($2.2 billion), up 19% on 2017, and its strategic objectives for 2019. These take in cross-the-board continuing growth, “both organic and inorganic,” the latter by acquisition of companies – of all its divisions, it  said in a recent statement.

Tri-Lite TV will give Mediapro Canada a production center with a 5,400 square-foot soundstage, three HD mobile units and the capacity to produce a broad range of sporting events, entertainment programs and newscasts in Canada, Mediapro said. Tri Lite TV president Chris Priess has joined Mediapro Canada as its general manager of broadcast services.

Mediapro Canada also brings to the table five mobile units – one, recently bought, in 4K – to produce the transmissions of 130 matches in the Premiere League’s first season.

Tri Lite TV was “ideally suited for our expansion in Canada given its remote broadcast experience and broad customer base,” said Mediapro Canada CEO Oscar Lopez.

Last year, Mediapro also acquired Comtec TV, one of Mexico’s biggest service providers. Tr-Lite TV joins one of the most rapidly expanding of TV companies in Europe, which plays off two growth sectors: the demand for international standard sports transmissions in every corner of the globe; the dramatic growth of high-end scripted series production outside the U.S.

In sports, Mediapro moved waves last May acquiring rights to to France’s Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 soccer games from 2020-21 to 2023-24. It also has rights to Spain for the 2022 FIFA World Cup and 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup.

Last month, Mediapro unveiled The  Mediapro Studio, a company concentrating all Mediapro’s content production and distribution operations with 34 scripted drama series in different phases of production this year. These span, of just U.S. companies, titles with HBO and Sky Italia, (“The New Pope”), Disney (“Cazadores de Milagros”), DirecTV (“Side Games”), Viacom Intl. Studios (“Noobees”), Turner Latin America (“Las Bravas” ), Vice (“Border Republic”) and Amazon Prime Video, which has acquired “Caronte.”

Currently, 40% of revenues from sports rights deals, 30% from its service activities, 20% from content.  79% of total 2018 turnover came from international outside Spain. In services, Mediapro will produce the Pan-American Games and Pan-American Parapan-American Games, to be held in Lima from July. It has been selected by the South American Football Confederation (Conmebol) to run its hub over the next four years, producing its three tourneys. It has established bases in Morocco, Tunis, Gabon, Angola and Kenia to produce sporting events transmissions in Africa, such as the soccer leagues in Kenia and Angola. Mediapro produces in Europe, Africa and Latin America up to 150 sporting events a day, it said in a statement.

Growing more than any other division, Mediapro’s digital and e-sports division has seen the consolidation of its Professional Videogames League (LVP) in Spain, and the organization of competitions in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Peru, Chile and the U.K.

Mediapro currently has 58 offices in 36 countries, it said, analyzing its 2018 results.

Objectives for 2019 take in “the expansion of activities in Latin America, the consolidation of its presence in Asia, and the strategic development of its digital division” taking in e-sports, video games in general, and VR, the group said in a statement.

Other aims are “momentum in content creation via The Mediapro Studio,  the commercialization of French league domestic rights and initiating production in Canada,” it added.

The backing of Chinese private equity firm Orient Hontai Capital is aiding Mediapro’s expansion in South East Asia, where the company has opened offices in Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong, Mediapro commented.

Mediapro has also enlarged its footprint in Eastern Europe, integrating top Slovenian TV producer VPK which, via VPK Pro, produces events coverage and TV programs via offices in Belgrade and Zagreb.

Last year, Mediapro also opened offices in Canada, Peru and Egypt.

Pictured: FC Edmonton (white), one of seven teams competing in the new Canadian Premiere League, playing Miami FC.

The New Pope HBO
CREDIT: Gianni Fiorito

“The New Pope.”

Tatxo Benet and Jaume Roures in Mediapro offices
CREDIT: Courtesy of Mediapro

Mediapro heads Tatxo Benet and Jaume Roures.

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