The Mediapro Studio has been building an eclectic and diverse scripted slate, encompassing titles such as the high-profile international co-pro The Head, which recently rolled a successful second season; the ViX+ period drama Las Pelotaris 1926 and the Spanish YA show UPA Next, a reboot of the musical hit UPA. Marta Ezpeleta, general manager of distribution, co-productions and international offices at The Mediapro Studio, offers her thoughts on navigating the global scripted landscape today.
TV DRAMA: How are your financing models evolving in this changing landscape?
EZPELETA: The Mediapro Studio works with very different business and collaboration models depending on each production. To a large extent, everything depends on the content before deciding who might be the most suitable partner and from there, we implement the business model with the platform or network in question. The Mediapro Studio offers a 360-degree service that encompasses the creative process, production and distribution, not only for specific clients but also for the start-up of our projects from scratch right through to the subsequent search for the best partners to distribute them.
TV DRAMA: What changes, if any, have you made to your windowing strategies?
EZPELETA: We adapt our windowing strategy to each content based on the content itself and the availability of rights in each territory. That said, our mission is to maximize the exploitation of these rights in each territory and on each platform, channel and window where the content might be consumed. There are cases where our sales strategy adapts to one window for free-to-air channels and another for pay-TV channels and platforms, while there are other cases where the content is only available for viewing exclusively via one window.
TV DRAMA: Are you seeing greater demand for long-running returnable shows or event pieces behind which broadcasters/platforms can put significant marketing weight?
EZPELETA: Yes, to both. In our case, we have series like The Boarding School: Las Cumbres for Prime Video, season three of which is pending; It Was Always Me, Primate and Yosi, the Regretful Spy, hits with audiences and critically acclaimed in Latin America, all renewed for second seasons; and event series such as The Age of Anger, for Atresmedia, conceived as a four-part, one-off adaptation of the bestseller of the same name. Then also we have movies like Hunting Ava Bravo, a production in association with Erik Barmack’s Wild Sheep Content, one of our partner companies, which made a great impact [last] summer on Prime Video in Latin America and the U.S., to which The Mediapro Studio Distribution holds the international rights.
TV DRAMA: What are the most significant factors you expect will reshape the drama business in the 12 months ahead?
EZPELETA: The new launches of streaming services (ViX+, which was launched [last] year in Latin America and with whom we have a strategic alliance to produce content, or platforms such as SkyShowtime in Europe); mergers between companies; and the inclusion of advertising in streaming services will undoubtedly shape the evolution of the audiovisual market, bringing new players and generating fresh demand for content. In addition, the global impact of productions in Spanish and languages other than English is here to stay and will continue to set the trend in the coming months.
TV DRAMA: What trends are you currently seeing in the drama business? Are there particular genres that are in demand? Territories that are particularly compelling?
EZPELETA: There are genres that are still very much in force, like thrillers and action. There is also increased interest in series focused on issues related to women and featuring strong female characters and resurgent genres such as musicals.
As for territories, both Spain and Latin America, where The Mediapro Studio has a large content production infrastructure with production offices in Argentina, Colombia and Mexico, are experiencing a moment of spectacular growth, something we’re very proud to be a part of as we’re no strangers to the global success of productions in Spanish.