European Producers and Broadcasters Debate How to Weather Streaming Storm

Variety | 10/19/2019 | Christopher Vourlias
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ROME – The impending rollout of Disney Plus, HBO Max, and other new streaming services promises a new era of uncertainty—and opportunity—for broadcasters and producers in an industry already disrupted by the likes of Netflix and Amazon. At a panel hosted by the European Producers Club Friday afternoon during the MIA market in Rome, executives from some of Europe’s leading broadcasters gathered to discuss how local players can compete in a rapidly changing market.

“It’s not only the OTTs,” said Marcus Ammon, SVP of original production for Sky Germany, pointing to the threat from streaming giants like Netflix and Amazon. Ammon noted that public broadcasters, commercial broadcasters and other players are also launching into the streaming business. “We need to find our own way.”

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Moderated by the European Producers Club’s managing director, Alexandra Lebret, the panel also included Thomas Triboit, head of Orange Studio’s TV series department; José Skaf, senior original content manager for Southern Europe and Africa with Turner; and Carlo Cresto Dina, a producer with Tempesta Film.

As a case study in how European broadcasters could compete with global players by pooling their resources, Ammon drew on Sky’s experience with the landmark period drama “Babylon Berlin.” The co-production with German pubcaster ARD was an “unusual alliance,” said Ammon, but one that allowed Sky Germany to prove it could compete with high-end content coming out of the U.S.

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“At that time, we didn’t have the resources to do the show on our own,” he said, noting that “Babylon Berlin” was the most expensive TV production Germany had ever seen. The series’ success would help create a signature brand for the broadcaster, and original dramatic content has since become a bigger part of Sky Germany’s programming.

“The objective back then was to have a show that is on a very international level,” said Ammon. “All...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Variety
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