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Israeli VOD service lands Romanzo Criminale

Romanzo CriminaleNew Israeli on-demand platform Cellcom TV has acquired Italian gangster drama Romanze Criminale from Germany-based Beta Film.

Premium content services firm Vubiquity brokered the deal on behalf of Cellcom TV, which mobile phone operator Cellcom launched at the end of last year.

Romanzo Criminale is set between 1977 and 1989 and follows a criminal gang in Rome that gains a near-monopoly on the city’s heroin trade. It is based on a true crime book of the same name and comes from Italian producer Cattleya (Gomorrah).

In December 2013, TBI reported US channel Starz was working up a US remake of the show, which was created for Italian pay service Sky Italia.

Cellcom, meanwhile, has made a splash in Israel since launch by landing first runs of shows such as Outlander, Mozart in the Jungle, Masters of Sex and Transparent.

TBI broke the news it had also entered into an innovative three-way simulcast launch of Better Call Saul with Israeli pay TV rivals Yes and Hot.

“Cellcom TV is proud to bring to its audience Romanzo Criminale, one of the leading and most cutting edge dramas that has come from the European market in the last couple of years,” said Yaniv Gruenwald, VP of television and content at Cellcom Israel. “We are thrilled to join hands with Beta and to further enhance Cellcom tv’s unique and varied content offering.”

Broker Vubiquity works with various content companies to secure programming and negotiate rights terms on behalf of platforms.

“It’s a highly competitive market for service providers and content is king,” said Vubiquity managing director Adam Poulter.

“Because we have strong, long-standing relationships with many independents and a wealth of boutique content providers, we can secure the right content, on the right terms.