TBI has partnered with Audiovisual From Spain to get the low-down from some of the biggest names in Spanish distribution on the latest sales trends and areas of growing interest in the country.
Here, we speak to Ana Bustamante, general director at Mediterráneo Mediaset España Group, about opportunities in Asia, global reach and Bulgaria’s love for La Que Se Avecina.
What has been the stand-out trend around scripted series so far this year?
Mediterraneo is not particularly oriented in trends. Instead, we believe the most important is to create differentiating stories, each one of them focused on the target you want to attract. In the days we are living, the story itself is the most decisive element. Therefore, our purpose is to produce great stories for the viewers and to do our best, so the viewers get in love with each title. For that, we need one-of-a-kind stories, original and fresh, edgy plots breaking the standards, or relatable stories for the audiences.
Which types of buyers are you seeing most demand from?
Platforms are taking over the linear channels in terms of demanding titles, and when we say platforms we are not only referring to the big ones, but also to local platforms who are open to evaluate the performance of the Spanish titles. In the last years we have seen also an increase in the interests in the adaptation rights of the series. Global stories that are locally produced to stay closer to the audiences.
Are there particular regions that are buying more Spanish fiction than before?
While getting stronger in the national landscape, Mediterraneo has been also consolidating its global presence. We are currently present in 190 territories thanks to our worldwide deals. If we analyse the deals closed in 2022, the broadcast of our titles reached more than 65 territories.
In our case, we have a special and close relationship with territories as Italy, Greece, Portugal and France. Also, Eastern European countries and MENA territories have been a focus on our strategy as we have lot of trusted clients in those regions. And, of course, Americas is in the spotlight because sharing a common language is a driving force that helps our content to have more chances to travel.
But it’s always very pleasant to reach territories where Spanish fiction has been barely tested in the recent years. For example, we are closing a deal with an Iraqi platform for the first time and last year some of our documentaries were broadcasted in China, Hong Kong and the Philippines, which was such an achievement. Asia is a region that brings a lot of hope to us.
Spanish fiction is hugely diverse, but which genres are proving most popular?
Spanish fiction has a diverse range of genres, and their popularity varies over time and across different regions. Nowadays, there’s plenty space for every genre as new genres and styles are constantly emerging in response to changing cultural and business context. Each free TV or pay TV channel, each platform is targeted to a specific audience, and therefore has a particular interest.
Also, each country is appealed by different type of titles due to its cultural values, so we believe there’s a place for a wide range of genres. There’s not a standard formula for popularity or great performance. For instance, comedy titles are super popular in Spain but it’s a genre that travels with more difficulty, but then you find out that in Bulgaria there’s a huge fan movement with our series La Que Se Avecina.
How do you expect the market to change next year?
The strikes in US, the consolidation of the FAST channels, the changes on the OTT platforms and big players merging continually across the whole world… A lot happened during this last year! And apart from the market itself, the general situation of global crisis and political tensions are not helping to the fluency of the business. With the reduction of budgets, the criteria to buy or produce a show increase exponentially, making the competition harder and the opportunities lower. Hopefully, that will start to ease in the upcoming months.
What are your key three shows at the moment?
Mediterraneo’s scripted offering for this season is quite varied. Our young-adult drama Urban just released in Prime Video Spain and Portugal. It relates the story of two girls from opposite worlds embarking on an inspirational music life trip, trying to follow their dreams and not giving up despite the failures.
Wrong Side Of The Tracks is releasing soon its third season, endorsed by the successful background of its previous seasons that had a huge success in the Free TV premiere in Spain (Telecinco), but also in the global released in Netflix.
Revenge Is Mine highlights as the first daily show in our catalog from the recent years. It counts with all the ingredients for a successful long-running series: unexplained secrets, a slow-cooked revenge, and an impossible love story.