Kanal D on Delivering Drama with Romance

Ekin Koyuncu, executive director at Kanal D International, talks to TV Drama about how the company found a way to meet the demands of the current market with its romance-filled catalog.

Over the last year or so, those within the international media industry have had to solve for the sort of challenges that most would not have ever considered having to face. Ekin Koyuncu, executive director at Kanal D International, saw that the demands of a market contending with a global pandemic were particularly difficult to meet for traditional broadcasters.

“Productions and daily formats were paused, and this led traditional broadcasters to lose their advertising revenues and seek changes in plans,” explains Koyuncu. “This was quickly reflected in their yearly budgets on acquisitions and related expenses such as marketing and localization.”

Kanal D International, according to Koyuncu, found a way to make the best of the hard times. “This past year has been a huge challenge for everyone, but as a team, we were able to see the opportunities quickly and determine our priorities,” she says. “In these circumstances, while keeping the expenses under control and maintaining the slots running with good performance, many territories went after strong reruns.”

Catering to the demands of the changed market, Kanal D International spotlighted such proven successes in its catalog as Forbidden Love, Fatmagul and Time Goes By. “Once again, the strength of our library provided us a much wider playground,” says Koyuncu.

Always key to an internationally successful drama are the storylines, cast and production qualities, according to Koyuncu, who notes that the pandemic brought about an increasing appetite for dramas with a bit more lightness to them. “People are shifting towards more optimistic, feel-good stories,” she says. “Romantic comedies became the breakpoint to the stress we are all experiencing in our daily lives. And with our strong romantic comedy lineup, we are eager to expand our reach worldwide.”

“One of my favorite romantic comedies, Love Trap, which reached millions of people and peaked in ratings during 2019, continues to have high international reach,” adds Koyuncu. “We are very happy with the international performance of the title.”

Kanal D is offering two new romantic comedies this summer: Recipe of Love, starring Kadir Doğulu and Serra Arıtürk; and Twist of Fate, from Love Trapproducer ARC Film. Twist of Fate “is very impressive with its intriguing storyline and rich cast,” says Koyuncu. “I strongly believe we will be talking about this series a lot!”

Among Kanal D’s priorities for the coming months is introducing its series to a wider audience through Dramax, Demirören Media’s brand-new SVOD platform. It is offering its titles dubbed in Spanish and Arabic, with Russian, Urdu and English soon to follow.

“While adapting to the changing trends and realities of the broadcasting industry, we will be continuing to deliver strong dramas and romantic comedies to the international audience,” says Koyuncu. “Opening new markets and monetizing our content in all windows is very important for us. In addition to traditional broadcasting, we are aware that we all need to prepare for a digital future. While our audience loves the quality and the richness of our stories, we see the switch to on-demand viewing especially with the younger audience.”