Patricia Jasin, the VP of TV Azteca International, tells TV Drama about the current media landscape in Europe, detailing the challenges and opportunities of the region and the varied content in the company’s catalog.
Jasin is looking to expand TV Azteca International’s content offerings into new markets. With nearly 20 years in the international television industry, she has worked in management, international sales, acquisitions and content development for multiple platforms. She has also leveraged her expertise in establishing strategic partnerships with some of global television’s most important players.
TV DRAMA: How has the OTT boom in Europe impacted content sales for the company?
JASIN: Although there has been a boom of these platforms in Europe, not all are leading OTT platforms. We’re evaluating new opportunities, and we’re very careful in selecting where we place our content. There are many new platforms that are not very well-established or don’t offer content that stands out. We prefer to work with the leading platforms, the ones we [feel] offer more to the consumer because an OTT platform without content doesn’t work; it’s an unsustainable business model.
TV DRAMA: What are buyers looking for in Europe? How do you compete to stand out in such a vast market?
JASIN: We have a varied catalog, from classic novelas to modern series such as super series. In every market in general—Europe, Asia, Africa and also Latin America—there’s demand for all types of content. We identify market niches and based on the products we offer, begin to reach those niches with our portfolio. Our catalog not only includes scripted but also documentaries, movies and reality docs, among others. We also offer production services. All of this helps us to satisfy multiple market demands.
TV DRAMA: What are the main challenges for growth in Europe?
JASIN: The main challenge we face, as a player from a Spanish-speaking territory, is cultural differences. As we enter an international market, this type of diversity is challenging any kind of distribution, be it for a channel or producer. What we’ve seen in recent years is that globalization is narrowing the divide between cultural differences. Currently, our products are entering territories where we previously didn’t have the capacity to launch. Today, audience preferences are becoming more universal and globalization is minimizing those differences.
If we have a product that isn’t a total fit for the Mexican audience, for example, that doesn’t mean that it won’t garner viewership in other territories. The sales strategy is not to react to preconceptions when a Mexican product isn’t successful in the country. We need to be open to the idea that our products can reach any territory and we shouldn’t have to stop our efforts in entering regions where we previously weren’t present. We look to explore every business opportunity.
TV DRAMA: Are there parts of Europe where doing business is more difficult?
JASIN: Traditionally, Northern European countries consume our product the least. Eastern and Southern Europe are regions that have always acquired and embraced Mexican product a bit more naturally. We’ve had a tough time entering Northern Europe, but we have a universal content offering that we can leverage to enter the territory.
TV DRAMA: What are some of the recent programming highlights?
JASIN: We have two very strong series: María Magdalena and Rosario Tijeras 2. These are the two big shows we launched for the market. Given these shows’ profiles, they have great possibilities for success in Europe, Asia and Africa. We also offer the new reality doc Mundo metro. We developed it through our pay-TV production unit. Indomable x naturaleza [Wild by Nature] is also a factual highlight, and we’re relaunching the La academia format on the heels of the success the last season garnered on Azteca uno.