Television Business International

Turner EMEA targets Adult Swim expansion

Turner Broadcasting System EMEA has identified young adult-skewing channel Adult Swim as a key driver of growth going forwards.

The channel, which is a key destination for US millennial audiences, has rolled out in the UK on pay TV channel Fox, has launched in France via Enorme TV, and will debut in more territories in 2016.

This follows the success of outlandish animated series Rick and Morty, which follows an alcoholic scientist and his grandson.

“In the US, Adult Swim is the number one basic cable destination for Millennials and has been for many years, and we’ve always wanted to crack that nut internationally,” Turner EMEA president Giorgio Stock told TBI in an exclusive interview. “The time has come now to ramp that up, because we now have more owned content than ever.”

“We’ve seen a real momentum internationally for audiences wanting to see Rock and Morty from online data, and from operators wanting to buy it from us. We’ve decided we want to build the brand, and not just the show.”

Stock, who joined Turner from The Walt Disney Company in 2013, said he would look to roll Adult Swim out in “non-traditional ways”, as opposed to syndicating Rick and Morty as a programme brand and then looking at channel launches.

“We think Adult Swim is a digital-first brand, so YouTube will play a significant part too,” he added. Turner has already launched Rick and Morty via the music-streaming service Spotify as part of a wider agreement.

Turner EMEA is also planning to expand the reach of general entertainment channel TNT, which is currently in territories such as Germany and Spain.

Turner’s general entertainment footprint in the EMEA region currently stands at 103 million.By the standards of other operators that is huge but by the standards of our ambitions there is much more to do,” said Stock.

Read TBI’s exclusive interview with Giorgio Stock here