December 2, 2021

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Ampere’s Grim Forecast; Orange TV-Mediapro; ViacomCBS LatAm Moves

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In this week’s International TV Newswire, Ampere’s five-year post-Covid report looks ugly for everyone but the streamers, ViacomCBS makes moves in Latin America, Orange TV is racing up its scripted commitment, beginning with The Medipro Studio, and Channel 4 announces a new true crime series.

Ampere Report Paints Bleak Five-Year Picture for Entertainment Industry

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According to an updated study by U.K. firm Ampere Analysis, the Covid-19 crisis will cost the global entertainment industry $160 billion over the next five years.

Gross losses will hit advertising hardest in overall dollars lost, although when viewing the impact against the size of the sector, theatrical will be the sector most impacted. Pay TV, suffering heavily due to the loss of live sports, will drop significantly in value in an already difficult market. Ampere predicts around 4% of its previously forecast value.

The report points to the “intimately interconnected” nature of industry value chain as a primary reason for the longevity of the likely struggles. While cinemas’ closing had a crushing immediate impact on the theatrical marketplace, it has also caused a backup of ready-to-release content that will fight tooth and nail for release windows in the coming year, likely causing a slowdown in production of content further down the line.

Not everyone comes out of the study muddied however, as streaming looks likely to survive the Covid kerfuffle looking pretty. Ampere’s latest forecast predicts a 12% gain in revenue terms over the same five-year period the rest of the industry is likely to slog through.

“There are two ways to look at the loss of value: gross revenue and relative change,” said Ampere research director Guy Bisson. “Advertising is hit hardest both near term and overall but drilling down into entertainment sectors shows that areas like theatrical are hit proportionally harder. The interconnected nature of the entertainment value chain mean that will have a number of effects in other areas of the value chain…some of which will not be fully felt for several years to come.”

Orange TV Ramps Up Spanish Original Series Investment with Mediapro Series Trio

Written by high-flying Finnish screenwriter Matti Laine (“Border Town,” “Bullets”) and featuring a tearaway performance from Riitta Havukainen as a 62-year-old Finnish woman cop who investigates a series of murders on Spain’s Costa de Sol and, down so, reawakens to life, crime series “The Paradise” will bow exclusively on Spain’s Orange TV on June 25. Produced by Finland’s YLE and Matila Röhr Productions (“All the Sins”) and Spain’s The Mediapro Studio, “The Paradise” forms part of a five-title Orange TV acquisition package from The Mediapro Studios which also takes in banner TMS title “The Head,” a large scale Antarctic survival thriller with “Money Heist’s” Alvaro Morte and Japanese idol Tomoisha Yamashita. Also in the mix is a third drama,“Caminantes,” a found smartphone video mystery, and two big  Mediapro movies, Woody Allen’s “Rifkin’s Festival” and “Official Competition,” starring Penélope Cruz and Antonio Banderas. All three series will figure in Spain as Orange Originals. Spain’s Orange TV has invested in Spanish movie before, but it has never acquired original Spanish series. It will now need more if it really wants to leverage original Spanish scripted content to ramp up its subscriber base. That’s good news for Mediapro. It’s also good news for Spain’s premium TV production sector at large.

ViacomCBS Int’l Studios and Colombia’s Dynamo Ink Co-Production Pact

ViacomCBS International Studios and Colombian production powerhouse Dynamo (“Monos,” “Distrito Salvaje”) have inked an agreement to produce premium original content for global audiences. The new alliance’s first project, an action thriller series, begins shooting in Mexico this summer. Distribution is likely by the end of the year. The two companies have begun appraising potential projects for development in 2021. Move dovetails with ViacomCBS’ mandate to create more cutting-edge content to meet the increasingly sophisticated programming needs of the worldwide audience. ViacomCBS recently inked a deal for Viacom kid network Nickelodeon to acquire the podcast and TV series rights to adapt hit sci-fi thriller “Dani Who?” for the U.S. general market.

Netflix Alum Marco Nobili Joins ViacomCBS

ViacomCBS again. ViacomCBS Networks Americas has hired former Netflix director of product innovation and originals launch strategy for Spain and Latin America, Marco Nobili, to the newly created position of senior VP, strategy and emerging business. Nobili will be responsible for driving strategies across ViacomCBS’ products, platforms and commercial lines of business as well as heading OTT strategy and execution of the company’s streaming properties in both free and paid spaces. He will also oversee business intelligence areas including research and analytical functions for entertainment programming, streaming and data operations. Nobili will be based in Mexico City where he will report to ViacomCBS Networks Americas president JC Acosta.

Channel 4 Announces New True Crime Series

U.K. network Channel 4 announced a new original true crime series, working title “In the Footsteps of Killers,” starring actress Emilia Fox (“The Pianist”) and Birmingham City University professor of criminology and frequent TV contributor, Professor David Wilson (“Interview with a Murderer”). Produced by Alaska TV, each episode will use state of the art forensic science and criminology research techniques to reevaluate cold murder cases. Unlike so many cold case doc-series before it, however, this will be shot and broadcast like a drama while including interviews with witnesses, suspects and friends and family of the victims. The series is currently in pre-production with shooting planned for this summer. Abacus Media Rights will distribute internationally.

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