MADRID — Rolling off the success of “El Pueblo” on both Spain’s Amazon Prime Video and Telecinco, the main commercial channel of top Spanish broadcast network Mediaset España, the U.S. online giant has clinched pay/TV and SVOD rights to four Mediaset España dramas and two docu series.
The deal was sealed between Amazon Prime Video and Mediterráneo Mediaset España Group, the broadcaster’s sales and distribution arm. Some series in the deal have already been announced as Amazon titles. Some are already on the platform, said Paolo Vasile, Mediaset España CEO.
Revealed Tuesday in Madrid, the agreement takes in the second season of rural relocation comedy series “El Pueblo.” It turns on a group of urbanites who flee the city for different reasons – existential and economic crisis, need for fresh air, search for peace, inspiration to compose – and the conflict in the way of living between them and their new rural neighbors.
Also acquired by Amazon is “Madres, Amor y Vida,” starring Belen Rueda (“The Orphanage”), produced by Aitor Gabilondo’s Alea Media (“Patria”) and turning on a group of mothers whose children are all being treated at the same hospital; plus legal procedural “Caronte” produced by Mediapro’s Big Bang Media, and Season 2 of “Dangerous Moms,” (“Señoras de la (h)AMPA”), a dark crime farce embroiling four mothers which won the 2019 MipDrama Buyers’ Summit Coup de Couer.
“Madres, Amor y Vida” focuses on the interactions between a group of successful women, all mothers, and their personal histories, relationships, conflicts and the one thing they each have in common, unwell children receiving treatment in the same hospital.
Gabilondo, also behind “Vivir sin permiso,” which was sold to Netflix, created the series, which will be directed by a team of talented female directors including Juana Macías (“Bajo el mismo techo”), Mar Olid (“Vivir sin permiso”), Abigail Schaaff (“The Department of Time”) and Roser Aguilar (“Lo mejor de mi”).
Roberto Álmo, Miriam Giovanelli, Carlos Hipólito, Marta Larralde, Belén López and Julieta Serrano fill out the ensemble cast to “Caronte,” a series following a former policeman removed from his position unjustly, who teams up with former and new colleagues in a search for justice and second chances.
“Dangerous Moms” follows four women living in Madrid, who are accidentally responsible for the death of Elvira, a spiteful woman in their PTA (AMPA in Spain) group. Series is co-produced by Producciones Mandarina.
Produced by Unicorn Content and presented by Juan Echanove, “De la vida al plato” is a docuseries exploring eight of Spain’s best-known restaurants and what makes them different. Meanwhile, “La familia del baloncesto Español” documents the Spanish national basketball team and the relationships formed within the organization.
Mediaset España already has deals with HBO and Netflix. Indeed, networks are unlikely to greenlight series without having a pay TV deal in place for domestic, limiting their exposure.
The Amazon deal is one of ME’s largest to date with a major global platform, however. At a time when platforms are both a challenge and distribution outlet for free-to-air networks, the deal also marks a reminder to analysts that Europe’s broadcast networks, all of which still turn profits, are still in the game and able to pull off sizable deals with the platforms. The deal also shows Amazon relying on the tried-and-tested production capacity, know-how and deep pockets of an established player which can override production road bumps to deliver on time.
“El Pueblo” Season 1 bowed May 14 last year on Amazon Prime Video, and then on Jan. 15 on Telecinco, to a buoyant over 16% share, 1.6 percentage points at least above channel average. All the new Amazon titles will be made available first on the platform and then on a Mediaset España channel about six months later.
“Amazon Prime Video have been highly courageous, experimenting with the bow of ‘El Pueblo.’ It has contributed to this drama series, and not damaged the product,” Vasile noted.
“Having the same content in several windows, in the final analysis, sparks more conversation,” Ricardo Carbonero, head of content, Amazon Prime Video in Spain, said at the presentation.
John Hopewell contributed to this article.
(Pictured: From top to bottom “Dangerous Moms,” “Madres, Amor y Vida”)