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Spain Announces $1.9 Billion Audiovisual Hub Plan to Power Up Spanish Film, TV Production

Money Heist Netflix
Courtesy of Netflix

Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez announced Wednesday the launch of a Spain Audiovisual Hub plan to offer a total €1.6 billion ($1.9 billion) over 2021-25 to power up Spanish film and TV production, and encourage big foreign players to shoot and set up production centers in Spain.

One early beneficiary of the scheme, according to Spanish press reports, will be Disney, which on March 26 bows romantic comedy “Besos Al Aire,“ its first Disney Plus Spanish original – although a pick-up from Spanish broadcast network Mediaset España.

Addressing Spanish industry representatives on Wednesday in Madrid, Sánchez also stressed that the Spain Audiovisual Hub initiated was designed to convert Spain into a talent hub.

More concrete measures include the support and digitalization of Spain’s content business, its promotion, and the expansion of its international reach, and the attraction of global investment, for which the government has put aside €240 million ($283 million) through 2025.

The lion’s share of aid, €1.3 billion ($1.6 billion), will be offered in tax breaks and credit lines offered to international and Spanish companies. This looks likely to include low-interest loans from state bank ICO, bank guarantees for credit access and credit lines for exports. €15 million ($17.7 million) will be put aside for training initiatives.

Sánchez announced these measures flanked by Nadia Calviño, deputy prime minister for the economy, Reyes Maroto, the minister for industry, commerce and tourism, and José Manuel Rodríguez Uribes, minister of culture and sports – a sign that the Spain Audiovisual Hub plan looks likely to be taken seriously across a broad spectrum of government departments.

An audiovisual hub of sorts has already been building organically in Spain for several years, with Netflix’s first European Production Hub, Movistar Plus, The Mediapro Studio, and networks Atresmedia and Mediaset España all located within a 20-minute drive of one another in north Madrid or the dormitory towns of Tres Cantos and San Sebastián de los Reyes.

Led by the Netflix released “Money Heist,” select Spanish drama series have broken out to global audiences around the world.

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Pedro Sánchez ASSOCIATED PRESS