London TV Screenings Insights: Tim Mutimer, CEO, Cineflix Rights

So Long Marianne (Source: Cineflix 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.

Here, Tim Mutimer, CEO of Cineflix Rights, talks financing, returnable brands and a greater focus on catalogue titles.

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

Cautious, contracting, consolidating

Tim Mutimer (Source: Cineflix Media)

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

Innovative, flexible, investing.

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

We invest in shows from a variety of territories which gives us more options. We are experts at co-producing and closing finance on projects which delivers a fantastic slate for us to sell. Recent shows on our scripted slate of this kind include So Long, Marianne, which we are launching at London Screenings and premiering in the international competition at Series Mania, together with two seasons of Last King Of The Cross and others including Rameses The Great: King Of Ancient Egypt, an epic factual series created by Paris-based producer Pernel Media for Canal+.

We are also attached as creative financing partners on Synchronicity and Photoplay Films’ Song Of The Sun God, which won the 2023 Content London drama pitch. We take an active role in creating and financing series with independent producers rather than waiting for full commissions. A recent example is Secret Nazi Expeditions from Go Button Media.

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

Some buyers who had stopped buying for a while are starting to come back. Increasingly buyers are looking for sure-fire hits that can cut through in a landscape of fragmented audiences.

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

There will be a greater focus on catalogue titles that already have currency with viewers. With less local commissions, they will look to acquire more content that appeals to local audiences.

Where does opportunity lie for you in 2024?

Growing our returning brands, building on our track record in delivering great crime content, increasing revenues from our FAST & AVOD businesses.

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.

Budgets and deficits are getting bigger whilst the market for some genres is contracting. We need to develop models that share and reward risk better.

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