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United invests €100m in local production

One of Europe’s fastest growing media and telecoms companies, United Group, is to invest €100m in producing local content across the SE European region.

The company is looking to build on the 30% of its content that was produced locally last year, with a slate of new content coming on stream in 2018.

United operates in Serbia, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia and is split between telecoms and a growing content production arm. The new investment will go towards commissioning new screenplays, series and other local productions.

For a start, the company says its popular crime drama Shadow over the Balkans (Black Sun), directed by Dragan Bjelogrlić, has been commissioned for a second season as part of the planned investment.

“In the era of global media players such as Netflix, local audiences still value shows and movies that reflect their lives and experiences, said Dragan Šolak (right), chairman of United’s Advisory Board. “United Group’s plan to invest €100m in local content is a show of faith in the network of local talent including producers, actors and musicians. I am excited to see what more the region has to offer.”

2017 marked a banner year for United’s production arm. Several original productions struck gold, with local audiences welcoming series including crime drama series My Father’s Killers and regional music talent show Grand Stars. United has also developed several animation properties including Pilići (Chickens) and Kefalica (Smarties).

The company also relies heavily on sport, with leagues and major competitions shown on SK channels such as the Premier League and Formula 1, as well as film and TV series.