London TV Screenings Insights: Adam Barth, director of co-pros, acquisitions & dev, Eccho Rights

Fallen (Source: Eccho Rights)

As buyers flock to the UK for London TV Screenings and BBC Studios Showcase this week, TBI talks to the bosses of more than 25 distribution companies to test the temperature of the global content industry and to find out how the next 12 months are shaping up.

In this latest installment we hear from Adam Barth, director of co-productions, acquisitions, and development at Eccho Rights, who talks risk adversity and co-exclusivity deals.

What three words would you use to describe the state of the TV/streaming industry as a whole right now?

Contracting, challenging, “reset”.

What three words would you use to describe the state of the distribution sector right now?

Opportunity, creativity, security.

With fewer shows being commissioned, how are you securing your pipeline?

Boarding projects early through development, and becoming an indispensable partner for producers who need help to navigate the challenges of a modern finance plan. Our partnership with Night Train Media also gives us the additional financial security we need to attract the best editorial and onscreen talent to our projects, all of which are vital in onboarding co-producing partners at an early stage.

What is the single biggest difference in the discussions you’re having with buyers today compared with 12 months ago?

Buyers are unquestionably more risk averse than they were a year ago.

Adam Barth

How do you expect global streamer demands for rights to change in 2024 compared with 2023?

Things are going much more local, more secondary rights, co-exclusivity with local broadcasters. The days of global deals are behind us.

Where does opportunity lie for you in 2024?

Developing, packaging and working with producers on realistic timeframes for their productions. In a year where we are facing risk aversion, now is the time for careful planning and producers can come to us for our expertise in all aspects of the development process from a first treatment and pitch deck, through to broadcast.

Tell us in no more than two sentences about the biggest problem facing the distribution industry and what needs to change so it can be overcome.

On both ends of the spectrum broadcasters and producers are becoming more reliant on distributors for bridging financial gaps. That’s why we are so concerned with co-production, sharing the costs fairly and making sure everyone gets the best deal.

Tell us about your top show at London Screenings & why we should buy it

Fallen is a truly unique YA fantasy series based on really strong IP; a NY Times bestseller with a huge fan following around the world. The series is directed by Matt Hastings (The Handmaids Tale, Shadow Hunters), and has a wealth of amazing acting talent, including names like Alexander Siddig (Game of Thrones) and Sarah Niles (Ted Lasso) and a brilliant ensemble of up and comers including Jessica Alexander (The Little Mermaid) and Emmy-nominated Gijs Blom (The Letter for the King).

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