FTV Prima’s Jan Rudovský Shares Acquisitions Wish List


Jan Rudovský, the head of acquisitions at the Czech broadcaster FTV Prima, told World Screen Newsflash that factual programming and independent movies are two areas of interest as he meets with distributors at NATPE Budapest.

Prima is currently the number two commercial channel in the Czech Republic, regularly securing a 20 to 25 percent market share overall. Rather than working to maintain that positioning, “we want to increase it,” Rudovský said. “We’ve been doing that for some time now,” mainly through ramping up original productions.

“If you were to look at Prima’s schedule five years ago, you would see it was U.S. shows, [foreign] acquisitions and some original shows thrown in for good measure. When you look at Prima’s schedule now, from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. it’s almost only original production.”

There are five channels within the FTV Prima bouquet. Alongside the flagship general-audience Prima, there is Prima COOL. This “edgy” male-skewed channel has “great brand awareness,” Rudovský said. “The cool shows are on Prima COOL—The Simpsons, The Big Bang Theory, Top Gear, The Walking Dead, Dexter, you name it!” Prima ZOOM is a free-to-air factual channel, while Prima MAX is dedicated to movies. Prima LOVE is a slightly more female-skewing channel, featuring a mix a romance, soft crime and reality fare.

On the main Prima channel, prime time is mostly originals, but daytime and late night are still largely acquisitions. Rudovský points to titles such as the British series Midsomer Murders, the French police drama Julie Lescaut and the U.S. classic M*A*S*H as the type of “easy-to-watch” shows Prima’s viewers enjoy. On the smaller channels, around 95 percent of the schedules are acquisitions, including U.S. imports and European series, both factual and scripted.

“When we do format licensing, it’s mainly for entertainment shows,” Rudovský shared. “We’ve done a number of seasons of Got Talent. We are in season 14 of Come Dine with Me and season seven of Kitchen Nightmares. Last summer we launched a Czech version of Fort Boyard to huge success. It was surprising because it got a younger audience.

“In terms of scripted formats, last year we did an adaptation of The Last Cop, which we are bringing back for a second season,” he continued. “When it comes to scripted, most of it is homegrown. We find that it resonates more with the viewers if it’s locally grown instead of a remake.”

Rudovský pointed to crime as a genre that performs well for Prima. “We have established a Sunday prime-time crime slot, where we put one to two new original production crime shows every season. The thing that we need more of is good crime procedurals, the stuff that the U.S. studios used to put out years ago—the CSIs, Castles, The Mentalists. It’s really short in supply now, so that’s what we would really like more of.”

At NATPE Budapest this week, Rudovský said he is “looking to meet with people from the region,” with an eye on factual content and some independent movies.