Fremantle Spain has tapped seasoned Spanish TV exec Fernando Jerez to create and head a new production arm En Cero Coma Producciones, dedicated to factual and documentary program production.

The launch of the new label forms just part of Fremantle’s wider global strategy to grow its footprint in the high-end factual space, the company said Thursday. It comes after the creation of UFA Documentary in Germany earlier this year and the robust sales success of such titles as “Arctic Drift.

Jérez will report to Fremantle CEO Nathalie Garcia and work closely with Fremantle’s global head of documentaries, Mandy Chang, Fremantle said.

“I am thrilled to have Fernando join us to spearhead our move into the factual space here in Spain. He has an incredible track record in production and commissioning, and I know that with his expertise, connections, passion and dedication he will lead En Cero Coma to be a major player in the world of factual and documentary program making,” said García. “Connecting creativity is at the heart of our business and welcoming Fernando to the team is a great example of this ethos,” she added.

Fremantle has big revenues numbers to hit going forward. High-end factual and documentary titles are still prized by public broadcasters and, if they have a large enough entertainment edge, their commercial counterparts.
Above all, there is a muscular demand for high-end factual at global platforms which have seen titles hit big audience figures. Factual titles can also command far lower acquisition prices than fiction works.

Highly connected – which could facilitate domestic sales on titles – Jerez previously worked at leading Spanish pay TV/SVOD operator Movistar Plus where he helped oversee non-fiction original productions and spearhead the launch of linear channel #0. During his tenure he also took on management of all exclusive entertainment, series and movie channels for the platform.

In a wide-ranging career, prior to working for Movistar Plus, Jerez was responsible for setting up operations in Spain and Portugal for Discovery and launched their free to air channel DMAX. He has also held senior management positions at free-to-air Spanish broadcasters La Sexta, Cuatro, Antena 3 and Telemadrid.

“I have the great opportunity to start a new label in an amazing international company that understands the values of creativity,” said Jerez.

He added: “At En Cero Coma Producciones, we will put every effort into sharing great stories of our country that may be of interest anywhere on the planet with clear goals: To add talent, discover new creators and new views.”