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Usually at this time of year buyers for TV outlets around the world stay keenly abreast of news about programs in the works for the fall television season. Many try to keep tabs on the hot prospects to prepare for shopping trips to come at program markets such as this week’s L.A. Screenings, in which the largest studios showcase their latest wares in pursuit of international licensing deals.
But in recent months, the biggest programming headlines have come from announcements about nascent streaming platforms that aim to follow Netflix’s lead as global services. That means the shows produced for Disney Plus and burgeoning efforts at Apple, WarnerMedia and NBCUniversal won’t be up for grabs outside the U.S. Buyers are increasingly worried about a dwindling stream of high-profile series and theatrical titles coming onto the market. The flurry of media mergers over the past two years has heightened concerns as longtime suppliers such as 21st Century Fox and Warner Bros. become part of larger conglomerates with different business agendas than the studios of yesteryear.
Concern - Thing - Buyers - Availability - Content
“There is a concern. Certainly the thing that buyers are looking at carefully is the availability of great content that they can actually access,” says Keith Le Goy, president of worldwide distribution for Sony Pictures Entertainment. “Vertically aligned companies planning global rollouts of platforms where they may well keep all of the content for themselves or the best content for themselves — neither of those are great situations for [international] buyers.”
The changing business models at the Hollywood majors come in tandem with massive growth in the past decade in the volume and caliber of locally-produced scripted programming airing in markets around the world. In fact, the rise of streaming platforms has given exposure to imports that would otherwise never have been seen in the U.S., from Israel’s “Fauda” to...
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