Dori Media’s Nadav Palti

With offices in Israel, Argentina, the Philippines, Switzerland and now Spain, Dori Media Group has established itself as a leading producer and supplier of telenovelas, prime-time dramas, reality and entertainment formats, children’s programming and short-form content. The group also manages a bouquet of TV channels. Nadav Palti, Dori Media’s CEO and president, talks to World Screen about a recent restructure of the company’s sales operation, its new office in Madrid and its relationship with TV Azteca.

WS: Dori Media recently restructured its sales division. How did that come about?
PALTI: First, we understood that we had to increase our presence in Europe through more than emails, phone calls and meetings at the markets, so we decided to open an office in Madrid. We hired Carolina Sabbag as VP of sales. For the last nine years she worked at Sony, where she was highly appreciated. She moved from Argentina to Madrid. This is very important for us. It strengthens our sales department.

Second, Revital Basel, who had worked with us for ten years and was VP of sales for the past four, decided she wanted to move to content. We had a very good relationship with her, and she will continue to be in contact with us. Because of Revital’s departure, we decided to open a new office in Europe.

We haven’t finished restructuring; we are in the process of moving toward much bigger things. Hopefully, we will have one or two more senior salespeople, either in Israel or in other places. Right now we have Pauline Ick in Manila; Carolina in Madrid; our teams in Buenos Aires and Israel; and we have our office in Zurich, Dori Media International, which is the headquarters of the international operation.

WS: You have also been increasing your production output.
PALTI: We are producing more high-quality drama that appeals to the European market. Dumb is in the process of getting a full series in Germany. We have made a lot of deals in Europe; we sold Las Estrellas in Italy and Spain. El Marginal aired on Canal+ and was very successful. They are looking forward to the second season. El Marginal won at Series Mania and the Martín Fierro Awards in Argentina and [Dumb was screened] at Berlinale.

We now have five or six prime-time series of 8, 10 or 13 episodes in production in Israel that we believe will fit the European market. This is why it’s very important to have a sales team on the ground in Europe.

We continue to produce telenovelas, but high-end telenovelas of 60 or 80 episodes, parallel to the “super series” in Latin America. But more and more, we produce weekly prime-time drama in Israel and Argentina like El Marginal. Another one is The New Black, which is the number one series ever on HOT in Israel. The first season of 12 episodes was a great success. Even before the first season aired, they ordered the second season [just from seeing] the footage. The second season is going to be 16 to 20 episodes. It’s a great, great success.

We also produce Normal, a high-quality drama for prime time in Israel. It’s eight episodes, and there will be a second season of another eight episodes. Our content is [suited to] Netflix, Amazon and all the OTT platforms, but also to channels in Europe.

WS: Tell us about your relationship with TV Azteca.
PALTI: This is very important because we see that good content from the last 10 or 15 years is coming back. One example is Lalola. We screened it for the first time 10 years ago, and it sold to 120 countries. Now TV Azteca bought it and is producing its own version of 150 episodes. It will air this year. What is nice about this deal is that we are going to distribute the Mexican version, and we will split the revenues with TV Azteca. I think this represents huge potential for new Mexican versions, especially for TV Azteca with Joshua Mintz and Benjamin Salinas, who are taking TV Azteca to a new level. We have a great partnership with them.

We also sold Dumb to TV Azteca. They are producing 80 episodes, and it will air at the beginning of 2019. We will distribute the Mexican version, which is very important for us because it’s different from what we are producing in Argentina—a different accent and look, even though it’s in Spanish. The Mexican versions will allow us to sell them not only in Latin America and the Hispanic market in the U.S. but also all over the world.