Broadcasters from Germany, the Netherlands and Belgium have joined the Nordic Twelve group of European broadcasters to forge what they are calling the “biggest drama collaboration in Europe.”
Unveiling the news at a MIA Market press conference this afternoon, ZDF, NPO and VRT from the three non-Nordic countries said they will join with Sweden’s SVT, Denmark’s DR, Finland’s YLE, Iceland’s RÚV and Norway’s NRK to form what is now titled the New8.
The octet of broadcasters will co-produce eight TV series a year and the initial agreement lasts three years. A “key aspect of the collaboration is ensuring broad distribution of each other’s projects,” the New8 said, with performance data set to be shared for all shows.
The first project will be announced in November at Content London, becoming available at the end of next year. Four series per year will come from the Nordics, two from Germany and one each from Belgium and the Netherlands, with all networks putting funds towards each one and taking rights for their territory.
Hans-Jørgen Osnes, NRK’s Head of International Financing Drama, told the Rome conference the move is being made to “stay relevant in a highly competitive landscape and to fill audience expectations.”
The New8 will meet four times a year and submit several projects as potentials. When pitching, producers will be offered the opportunity to submit their show to the New8 for consideration but will be given final say.
Simmone Emmelius, SVP International Fiction – Coproduction & Acquisition for ZDF, said New8 will build on a “strong relationship with Scandi partners that has strengthened over the past years.”
“We have proven examples from former years that this can work,” she added. “We can learn from each other and listen to each other and from there can learn sweetspots”
Formed in 2019, the previously-titled Nordic Twelve targeted 12 series a year, giving rise to the likes of Exit and The Thin Blue Line. Separately, a similar group called The Alliance, formed of ZDF, Italy’s Rai and France Televisions, has been running for five years.
Responding to a question from Deadline, SVT Head of Drama Anna Croneman rejected the idea that the Nordic Twelve should simply have joined with The Alliance, adding that the pair take “very different models” as The Alliance co-develop and oversee editorial together.
“[The New8] is talking about sharing the vision of PSBs and what kind of content they are looking for,” she added. “This isn’t going to be another Europudding.”
New8 is targeting the 18-45 year old demographic, with these coveted younger viewers a major challenge for local networks in their fight for eyeballs against the U.S. streamers.
“This is so important for younger audiences,” said Elly Vervloet, an international drama executive at VRT. “We all know how difficult and complex it is to finance high-end series so we can set a price to invest in each others’ series and get access to high-quality drama. It’s a win win.”
The MIA Market in Rome is running all this week, featuring talks from the likes of Nicole Clemens, Nicolas Weinstock and Marge Dean.
Source : Deadline