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Last year’s release of the Atresplayer Premium pay TV platform involved stepping up Atresmedia’s bet on original TV content production, particularly in fiction series.

Part of its transformation process from traditional broadcasting group to a digital content producer, Atresplayer Premium is giving the group a new distribution window for Spain and the rest of the world.

With a remarkable presence in Spain and Latin America, Atresplayer Premium’s subscribers number has grown significantly from 140,000 at the end of last year to 253,000 in June.

“It’s clear that direct-to-consumer is the way to go. Atresplayer Premium will continue growing in 2021,” says María Rúa Aguete, executive director at research company Omdia.

“Atresplayer shows three different types of programming: Linear broadcasting of the group’s TV channels, previews of programs that will later release on free-to-air, and originals,” explains José Antonio Antón, director of programming, content and digital at Atresmedia.

With Atresplayer Premium, subscribers have access to Atresmedia’s huge back catalogue, encompassing more than 20,000 hours of programming.

In terms of originals, Atresplayer Premium started with an initial batch of less mainstream scripted content. “Operating a pay TV service allows us to produce more niche TV fiction projects, which probably would have been more difficult to produce for a free-to-air TV window,” Antón says.

For example, “#Luimelia,” a 10-minute episode spin-off from Antena 3 daily soap “Amar es para siempre,” is a period series produced by Endemol Shine Group’s Diagonal TV, which brings to the present a love story between two women.

But more niche content can also travel abroad widely. Its biggest success to date, bioseries “La Veneno,” created by Javier Calvo and Javier Ambrossi and turning on a popular Spanish LGTBI icon, has been acquired by WarnerMedia for HBO Max in the U.S. and Latin America.

“A series as local as ‘Veneno,’ native to Atresplayer Premium, has managed in just three months to make our number of subscribers skyrocket, garner praise from critics and audiences, and seduce a large operator to start its international career,” says Atresmedia general manager, Javier Bardají.

“With Atresplayer Premium, we are not only opening another business line, we are expanding our content and our brand throughout the world, especially the Spanish-speaking world,” he adds.
“Atresmedia Series concept has been a catalyst for the Spanish TV fiction production sector,” says Antón.

“Veneno” was produced by Atresmedia Studios in collaboration with Suma Latina and in associaciation with producer Enrique López-Lavigne’s Apache Films.

In its original production moves, Atresplayer has also bet on remakes such as Viacom International Studios-sold “El nudo,” an adaptation of Argentine hit series “ADDA, amar después de amar” produced by Diagonal, and Atresmedia Studios’ “Mentiras,” the Spanish remake of ITV’s “Liar.”

Often, Atresplayer productions find a place on Atresmedia’s free-to-air channels. After releasing on the OTT service, Plano a Plano comedy “Benidorm” and Daniel Écija’s dystopic “La valla” will air on Antena 3 in primetime; documentary “Pongamos que hablo de Sabina,” about Spanish songwriter Joaquín Sabina, will land on LaSexta.

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La valla Credit: Atresmedia

Buendía Estudios, the Atresmedia-Telefonica joint-venture launched in June, has quickly started producing an important chunk of Atresplayer Premium programming.

Titles take in comedy “ByAnaMilán,” a sequel to hit drama “Física o Química” and event mini-series “FoQ: el reencuentro,” both projects teaming Atresmedia TV with Buendía, and docu-fiction “El instante decisivo,” fruit of Buendía’s partnership with La Caña Brothers.

Also produced by Buendía, and toplining “Isabel” star Michelle Jenner, TV drama “La cocinera de Castamar” is scheduled to release on both Antena 3 primetime and Atresplayer Premium.

Other contributors include Lucky Road, which produced mystery thriller series “Campamento Abanta,” shared by Atresplayer and its experimental free-to-air label Flooxer whose highlights included the first season of comedy “Paquita Salas,” before that series was picked up as a Netflix Original.

Spanish TV showman-producer Arturo Valls will star in comedy “Dos años y un día,” an Atresplayer Premium original produced by LACOproductora, Globomedia (The Mediapro Studio), Estela Films and Pólvora Films.

As a broadcast OTT, Atresplayer Premium also gives Atresmedia the chance of programming big, ad-free international formats such as “The Voice” and “The Masked Singer,” later aired through company’s free TV services.

Conversely, traditional broadcasting is also crucial for the platform’s promotion and advertising.

On the international scene, Atresplayer Premium benefits from the pay TV bridgehead opened years ago overseas by Atresmedia International channels bouquet -Antena 3 Internacional, Atreseries, Hola TV and Atrescine – reaching some 50 million homes, mainly in Latin American and U.S. markets.

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Luimelia Credit: Atresmedia