As US streaming giants commission more and more shows from Europe, the continental traditional broadcasters now see co-production as the best weapon in their arsenal. LA screenings continue this week, but the number of expensive dramas with multiple partners across the pond is expanding as the channels seek to expand the budget further.
“International co-productions are an important part of our huge portfolio,” said Christoph Pelander, senior vice president of drama at ARD Degeto, the German public broadcaster ARD’s content arm. “Over the last few years they have become more important to us in terms of size but also in terms of recognition.”
And local broadcasters need to make noise.
Future funding models and governments are embroiled in controversy over content quotas, with Netflix, Amazon and co. Keep pouring resources into European roots. Just this month, Netflix opened an office in Rome with a 13-strong line-up of scripted and non-scripted shows, while Amazon revealed that it has spent £ 1BN ($ 1.2BN) in the UK since 2018.
ARD Degeto – which produces commissions, purchases and shows for the terrestrial channel Das Erst and streamer ARD Mediathek – currently has about 15 projects on its slate, including international, which sits alongside its long-established local scripted production business. Releasing the deadline on Tuesday, his new projects include Seeds (Work title), a thriller co-produced with Norwegian NRK, Czech studio MIA Film and German producer Odeon Fiction and its original Leonine studio, which has acquired the rights to sell. Also notable is the Sky Deutschland Co-Pro Babylon BerlinWhich has led to a fourth season.
ARD’s annual production budget is about € 250M ($ 268M), significantly smaller than its streamer rivals – highlighting why broadcasters are teaming up to bridge the gap. “It depends on what qualifies as international co-production, but we think it is fair to say that 5-12% of our budget is reserved for international co-breeds, with a tendency to grow rapidly.”
International co-party in its veins Seeds Not new, but sources across Europe say they are taking on a new significant in light of market developments and economic challenges. Simon Amelias, senior vice president of international fiction – co-produced and acquired at ZDF Studios, the content arm of the German public broadcaster ZDF, ARD’s partner, noted the change. “Almost all the interesting high-end co-productions are European,” he says.
An example is the ZDF project FallenDrama from a cold suit The bridge Author Camilla Ahlgren, also for Scandinavian Sea More and TV4, with the Swedish film fund Film I Scan and the commercial-owned drama house Filmlance. The show is set to shoot in Malm এবং and Ystad before the 2023 launch.
Although both ZDF and ARD have extensive local commissioning remittances, parts of statements with foreign partners can make more noise and often sell much better internationally – so a large number of distributors have jumped on the bandwagon to fill the funding gap and acquire rights.
“Interest in international production has grown a lot – we can see that in shows from Germany, Scandinavia and the United Kingdom,” said Amelias. “The power and strength of European production companies has increased and openness to co-production has expanded.”
Dermot Horan, director of acquisitions and co-production at RTE in Ireland, added: “We all want to see who we can partner with.”
RTE co-programs include: North Sea connection With Viaplay, MOPAR Studios, Subotica and distributor A + E Network International and Gangland Series Relatives Season Two, with Viaplay, Canada’s Bron Studios, Ten percent Producer Headline Pictures and AMC + in the US Deadline understand that RTE is also working on another high-profile drama series to film around Ireland with UK and US partners.
Horan says that “even with Ireland’s tax break system,” RTE often has about 35% less of the budget for its drama commission. As such, he is pitching several projects to producers, broadcasters and distributors in LA this week.
Meanwhile, the streamers are similar to the European scripted push Remittance prices are skyrocketing, contributing to the buzz inflation for the best IP for co-production. “This is a very competitive market: production budgets are growing and getting higher and the talent race with new players in the market is at new heights,” said ARD Degeto’s Pellander.
“TV channels that want to be relevant need to adapt, develop a strategy to combine linear and non-linear programming, and provide relevant and thought-provoking series for their viewers.” These series need to be able to compete with operating OTTs worldwide which can sometimes cost up to $ 10M per episode. International co-production is an opportunity to guarantee better production prices and enrich creativity because we deal with issues that are not limited to one region but have global appeal, especially for Europe. “