What were the moments that defined 2014 for individual companies in the international TV space? In the second part of our three-part Year in Review special, we unearth the deals that mattered to those brokering them.
The quality of programming in 2014 continued the recent trend that has seen TV become a prime source of watercooler chatter. Many feature films are struggling to connect with audiences, making both investors uneasy and TV look like a more profitable and dynamic proposition. The hordes of famous faces now walking the halls of the Grand Palais in Cannes are testament to the new flows of cash bankrolling the TV revolution. Away from the glitz ‘n’ glamour the likes of Cuba Gooding Jr. and Maggie Gyllenhaal added to MIPCOM last year though, the distributors and programme makers on the frontline were working harder than ever to improve their businesses and bottom lines.
Here we ask industry names what the defining moment of the year was for them and their firms.
Shaking hands on our first Korean coproduction, Treasures of the Earth
– Kirstie McLure, managing director, Pioneer Productions
“We announced a multi-faceted deal with Beijing-based Seven Stars Entertainment and Media and its principal Dr. Bruno Wu, which included a direct equity investment by Seven Stars into Content and our acquisition of Alive Group of Companies from China”
– Greg Phillips, president, Content Television & Content Digital
“It was handing over the reigns from our most-talked-about drama Breaking Bad to The Blacklist as SPT’s must-see TV series”
– Keith Le Goy, president of international distribution, Sony Pictures Television
“We were very excited to team up with international networks, and closed international deals such as with Nickelodeon for Bagdasarian Productions/OuiDO Productions’ ALVINNN!!! and the Chipmunks“
– Philippe Soutter, president, PGS
“2014 marks a new chapter for us. Having completed what I would call a ‘blood, sweat and tears’ turnaround, we have returned to growth, driven by our best ever reach and ratings performance across all genres: news, kids and entertainment”
– Giorgio Stock, president, Turner EMEA
“With our format Married at First Sight we redefined the concept of ‘real reality’. We saw the proof of concept in various local adaptions, from Denmark, to the US and Germany, all with record-breaking shares in viewership”
– Henrik Pabst, managing director, Red Arrow International
“It was the year that our catalogue became 50/50 between content from Cineflix Productions and third-party producers”
– Chris Bonney, CEO of rights, Cineflix Media
“Finalising the international coproduction of our drama series The Team after several years of extensive and good work with all partners involved”
– Fred Burcksen, executive VP and COO, ZDF Enterprises
2014 has seen the first formats spearheaded by our new international development board quickly start to travel. Dropped launched in Sweden early in the year on TV4, has already been recommissioned and was picked up by TF1 in France and TV2 in Norway for 2015
– Marc-Antoine d’Halluin, CEO, Zodiak Media
“We launched our international division and grew our inventory to 1,400 hours within the first year. We also made a commitment to develop a production slate of 300 hours of 4K nature and wildlife content for our domestic and worldwide audiences”
– Raja Khanna, Blue Ant Media
The launch of our TV production arm, Duchess Street Productions in June marked a huge turning point for the company, reflecting our commitment to developing quality creative content with real commercial bite
– Simon Flamank, executive director, Bob & Co.