Exclusive: ‘Fauda’ broadcaster Yes launches Covid-19 network & TVOD service


This week, TBI continues to hear from global broadcasters about how they have been impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic. Today, we speak to Keren Gleicher, SVP of content acquisition at Israel’s multichannel and VOD operator Yes

Israeli pay TV and streaming outfit Yes – which debuted hit Netflix drama Fauda among numerous others – has launched a dedicated linear channel in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and created a new TVOD service for theatrical shows.

Keren Gleicher, SVP of content acquisition, tells TBI that the media company has not dramatically changed its buying strategy in terms of genres but is looking to offer new avenues for consumption.

“We’re still looking to buy the same types of shows we did before, but are offering them in new creative ways,” reveals Gleicher. “We’re sourcing content from various partners, including distributors and various local channels we carry on the platform, and curating content specials on our linear and on demand.”

She explains that the acquisitions team is now “focused constantly” on creating stunts and specials to cater to the many thousands of Yes subscribers isolated in their homes, who are looking for both comfort and entertainment at this time.

In particular, the broadcaster – which has been behind shows such as The Gordin Cell, Shtisel and Your Honor – is launching new services focused on those in the most vulnerable age groups and has brought new movie releases rapidly to the small screen.

“We are focusing more closely on specific age groups such as teens and senior citizens and have put together a dedicated linear channel and supporting VOD category for the third-agers. We have also taken a quick initiative together with the local theatrical distributors and launched a TVOD space where titles in their theatrical window are now offered.”

Production held but development continues

As is the picture around the world, Gleicher says that all Yes Original productions have been put on hold, but development is still going ahead.

“Hopefully, business will resume in a few weeks, and the industry will recover quickly,” she says. “There may be a difference in the speed production will be able to resume, as opposed to time it will take movie-goers to return to cinemas once they are re-opened, which may affect the movie slates for a longer time. On the TV series side, we look ahead to see what the effect will be on this year’s fall season.”

If there is anything positive that can be said to have come out of the crisis, Gleicher says that having to keep apart has in some ways helped to bring people closer together. “We’re in constant contact with all our partners, actually more often than usual – people are eager to communicate.

“The atmosphere and circumstances are a hotbed for creativity and new ideas and it is heart-warming to see our partners coming on board, helping us putting our plans to action.”

Gleicher adds that broadcasters must “be prepared for everything”. She adds: “People are seeking out content for comfort these days. Agility, flexibility and creativity are needed to continue and provide subscribers with top service during these challenging times.”

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