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 CEE
NEM Dubrovnik wraps with exclusive announcements and premieres
 08 Jun 2023
Six panel sessions, two presentations as well as three keynote sessions took place at NEM Dubrovnik during the third and final day of the international TV event.

Monty Sarhan, Chief Executive Officer, SkyShowtime said: “MVPDs are hugely important in the CEE region, and the growth of linear TV is evidence of that. Europe is not a monolith, there is richness and diversity and it’s a very valuable ecosystem. In Northern Europe, the number of SVOD subscriptions per household is approaching three, while here in CEE it’s less than two. It is a huge addressable market with lots of headroom and opportunity. It requires a bespoke strategy to tackle the opportunities that exist in each of these markets. These countries are in very different places in terms of their voyage and the streaming future.”

“We are focused on storytelling. Others have exited the scripted space but we are still very much committed to programming in all its forms and that can be scripted or unscripted. We look across all genres, including comedy and drama,” Sarhan said, adding that 10 original shows will be offered this year, including US fare such as Poker Face and The Curse, plus local shows from the region, with four series in the works from Spain.
“That happened because there are more original productions for Spain, it’s a large market and producers tend to produce there because they can leverage them for Latin America. All our regions are incredibly important, I see us doing more shows from Poland and shows from Central and Eastern Europe too, one of our top performers is The Informant for example, which comes from Hungary. It requires a very bespoke strategy for each market, and these countries are in very different places in terms of their voyage and streaming futures. In CEE, linear is still hugely important. Satellite and MPVD’s are still very important partners for us, because that’s where people are consuming content and that is a very valuable ecosystem for us,” he said.

Dušan Švalek, Deputy CEO, CME, highlighted the importance of local content: “We believe that the VOD business will be about local content and providing an alternative to all global streaming brands. We believe this is about local people and we do that everywhere we are. The closest was Slovenia, but we are also expanding that business into Croatia. When it comes to creator economy in Croatia, I believe it’s in the interest of the country to make sure that the creator economy grows. This is one of the advantages that every country should have – a strong creator economy inside its national realm.”

Moritz von Kruedener, Managing Director, Beta Film was also one of the keynote speakers sharing insights from the industry.

The Walt Disney Company raised special attention and presented the rebranding of their channels - FOX becomes STAR at A Brilliant Change Event at Lazareti at Dubrovnik Old City. BBC Studios showcased their upcoming content available for CEE, including a screening of the anticipated premiere from BBC Earth: Spy in the Ocean. Telekom Srbija has boarded Cicatriz (Scar), the highly anticipated action thriller adaptation of Juan Gómez-Jurado’s best-selling novel of the same name. The drama, which is being lead and produced by the Spanish production company, Plano a Plano jointly with the Mexican Dopamine, is the latest to be packaged by Asacha Media Group, the pan European production studio. In the talent side, the creators of the adaptation are Pablo Roa and Fernando Sancristóbal, writers of Netflix’s international smash hit drama Money Heist and Verónica Marzá, the eight-part drama is set to go into production at the end of the year filming in Spain and Serbia.

Business, finance, content strategies and the technicalities of launching a FAST channel and capitalizing on the boom in ad-supported streaming was discussed during the panel Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About FAST but Were Afraid to Ask, led by the moderator Guy Bisson from Ampere Analysis.

Where does the CEE region stand when we talk about image and identity? This key question was raised at the panel Central Europe: What Story Do We Want to Tell the World? sponsored by TVP World with their moderator Sascha Fahrbach.

Eastern Europe’s position compared to Western Europe’s in terms of original content investments by streaming players was discussed by Viaplay Group, Sky EU Office, and Mediawan Rights. The panel Is Europe Being Territorially Divided in Terms of Global Streamers’ Investments? was moderated by Christian Grece, European Audiovisual Observatory.

How SVOD services and operators deal with inflation and the effects of an overcrowded market was discussed during the panel End-User Pricing Wars led by Maria Rua Aguete, Omdia, as moderator.

Following the new Croatian Electronic Media Act which has recently entered into force, the panel Must-Offer in Croatia gathered HAKOM, A1 Croatia, Croatian Telecom, Nova TV, RTL Croatia, and Ministry of Culture and Media, Croatia to discuss the new conditions on stage and how this will affect cable operators and FTAs in Croatia.

Haymi Behar, SPI International (a Canal+ Company) talked about utilizing AI and machine-learning technologies during the presentation Transforming the TV Experience: The Power of AI in Content Creation and Viewing and Marcel Satanek from Slovak Telekom and Digi Slovakia presented a TV case study VOYO (SVOD) Deep-Link Integration to Magio TV.

Networking opportunities and events were held all day - starting with coffee on the NEM Terrace by SPI International and later tmc Content Group AG, as well as DubFormer. All participants enjoyed Lunch with Cocktails by Pickbox NOW & Pickbox TV after which they continued their meetings with a record number of buyers and exhibitors.

The 10th edition of NEM Dubrovnik 2023 was closed with the Goodbye NEM Dubrovnik by NEM Zagreb networking event and exciting announcements regarding NEM Zagreb 2023 and 2024. “We are happy to welcome you again in December to an event which will be expanded into the film segment of the TV industry”, said Ivan Ljubičić, Managing Director of Pickbox, Mediatranslations, Mediavision and NEM. “About TV series & film creation” event is co-funded by the European Union, through the Creative Europe MEDIA sub-program.
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