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Issue: MIPCOM 2019 Special (21 October 2019)
Industry Trends
There was a buzz at this year's MIPCOM content market as TV execs pushed on with business (almost) as usual in the face of the fast-changing market for international sales. Independent distributors found their diaries unusually packed, with a number of smaller operations reporting to The Amp that they were fully booked with meetings until Thursday evening. The changing role of studio majors and direct-to-consumer plans were, of course, a hot topic at the market, but there was a feeling of a quiet before the storm as global sales execs talked freely of an expected impact on their lives and businesses that had yet to fully materialize. 

Ongoing access to content stands tall as the key concern among distribution businesses, but the already well-underway trend of original production is also having an impact; driving down license fees for smaller distributors (as major buyers prioritize production budgets over acquisition) and making the lives of the distribution execs within larger operations more challenging as they struggle to unravel their parent companies' own plans for direct-to-consumer launches and holdbacks, and the content that will be left over for international sales. 

Original production, the drama boom and increasing budget deficits have also changed the nature of distribution, with larger operators pushing hard into own production investment and a desire to off-set risk by getting much more closely involved in project development, much earlier, to shape dramas for international sale. That said, acquisition is still high on the agenda, even for some of the big groups touting a direct future. WarnerMedia said it was on a buying spree across a range of genres for its HBO Max service.


But the recent wave of studio and content mergers has also created market uncertainty with 'phase two' of consolidation evident at an internal level as the larger producers and distributors and newly married mega-groups touted the potential of new internal re-organisations in preparing their businesses for the brave new world. If phase one of the latest wave of media consolidation was the studio and content-infrastructure mega mergers; phase two—already well underway—major internal re-organisation; then phase three to come must surely be consolidation in the production and distribution supply chain.

Advertising-supported Video on Demand (AVoD) was white hot at this year's market, with a keynote from Tubi, an AVoD launch from Rakuten and a growing number of distributors eager to monetize deep catalogue with the new players. Where SVoD once trod—acting as a cash cow for archive content—AVoD now holds promise. In a humorous turn, eager to position itself as an alternative to Netflix, Tubi posted banners around the Palais showcasing its new advertising campaign that included double entendres that would make the cast of the Carry On movies proud, including: "Dear Netflix, I had my first freesome last night, Tubi was amazing,"...well, it made a change from posters promoting Turkish dramas, if nothing else.

Talking of cast, players at all levels of the production and distribution chain were increasingly aware of the rush by global platforms to tie up key talent—particularly writers and showrunners—in long term deals. But the push and pull of mega-budget drama means broadcasters remain nervous of taking risks on new talent; a conundrum that has yet to find solution. Where young talent continues to suffer, international and foreign language benefits, as US Networks, studios and streaming platforms increasingly look to quality international drama for variety and producers scour the globe for non-US co-production partners.

Read below The Amp's take on all the key news to emerge from MIPCOM 2019, including a number of exclusives. Find out about Tubi's new kids' AVoD service; NENT Group's plans for its new Studio UK and re-think of the Atrium buyers' venture; WarnerMedia's plans for an aggressive roll-out of HBO Max; Amazon's belief in the power of hyper-local drama; Beta Film's new Nordic Studio set-up; the emerging indie AVoD cash cow; BBC Studios changing role in production finance; Fremantle's views on the new world order for distributors; The Amp's full round up of all the deals struck at MIPCOM 2019...and much more.


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MIPCOM 2019 News
NENT Group to push movies, originals through UK Studio
Scandinavia's NENT Group is planning to ‘double down’ on its original production boosting output from 20 to 40 originals a year and pushing up to an additional 20 English-language scripted productions through newly-created NENT Studios UK. Speaking to The Amp during MIPCOM, UK CEO Jakob Mejihede said the new studio would also take over some of the original projects developed through the Atrium co-production buyers club, of which NENT was a founding member, and look to theatrical movie production as part of its original drive. Co-productions with European broadcasters would be a key focus for the scripted output, resulting in a re-think of the Atrium model. Mejihede said Atrium, in which a number of regional players grouped together to find and fund high-end English drama, needed to be simplified. NENT Studios UK would take over some of the projects originally developed for the venture and, going forward, would increasingly look for a single partner for scripted co-productions.

The drive for originals for NENT’s Viaplay platform has been pushed forward by the shifting economics of multi-territory licensing and the contracting supply of Hollywood content ahead of studio direct-to-consumer platform launches. NENT will complete roll-out of the streaming service across the Nordics with a Finland launch in the first half of 2020 and will then look to launch in additional international markets after that. NENT’s move into movie production alongside its scripted slate has been driven by the contracting supply of Hollywood blockbusters said Mejihede, but the movie originals will still see a theatrical release. 'There is still value in respecting the theatrical window and leveraging the marketing value of a cinematic release', he argued.
Tubi launching kids’ AVoD platform
Ad-supported streaming platform Tubi is launching a dedicated kids' content platform, Tubi Kids, in the US. Speaking at MIPCOM, Chief Content Officer Adam Lewinson said the new kids' service would launch this month with a global roll-out to follow. The platform will operate as a separate service within the main Tubi app and be built on three key pillars: privacy, age-appropriate content and a ‘massive’ library.

Lewinson said that targeted advertising would not be used within the kids app in order to overcome concerns about using children’s data to push sales; there will be no user-generated content within the service, removing the risk of inappropriate videos, and the offer will total 1,200 titles or 5,000 hours of content at launch. Lewinson said his team was ‘scouring’ the market for kids’ content with a particular focus on shows that can cross borders. Tubi is in the middle of a global roll-out and said it would launch in the UK in early 2020.

Lewinson said that Tubi's viewing has grown from 94m hours viewed in May 2019 to 130m hours in September with 200 content partners supplying 15,000 hours of content. Tubi's founder Farhad Massoudi said his platform was a ‘tech-first’ company which contrasts with Netflix’s ‘content first’ approach. Tubi is focused entirely on licensed content and on connecting the viewer with the right content using a machine learning algorithm, with Massoudi claiming the platform had already spent a ‘nine-figure’ sum on content. Although Lionsgate is an investor in the platform, it remained the only independent AVoD platform, Massoudi claimed.
Amazon Studios goes hyper-local for global
Amazon Studios says it is not focusing on developing shows specifically for a global audience, because great local shows will always find success. Highlighting shows like Fleabag and A Very English Scandal, Amazon’s Director of European Originals, Georgia Brown, said she was comfortable developing shows with strong local stories and was increasingly focused on looking for co-productions. Amazon’s data access could help in show development by sharing information with creatives about what different audiences around the world engage with, but Brown said there was no 'big red button' when it came to data usage in show development, referencing the urban legend that that algorithms are now used extensively in show creation.

Brown said Amazon's focus for original production would remain on the 20 markets where Amazon has a Prime service, but is a ‘quality not quantity’ play, according to Head of International Originals, James Farrell. Amazon targets so-called ‘white space’, looking for under-served sectors for new originals, but is also searching for new twists to well-trodden genres. Formats are also an increasing focus for Amazon with the Bachelor Japan a notable success for the platform. The format had a particularly high completion rate—the number of viewers watching all episodes—despite dropping weekly show by show. Completion is the key measure Amazon uses for re-commissioning a show, Farrell said.
Warner acquisition drive for ‘aggressive’ HBO Max launch
WarnerMedia is moving ‘very aggressively’ into the Direct-to-Consumer space with the full buy-in of parent AT&T, Chairman, Entertainment and Direct-to-Consumer, Robert Greenblat, told the audience at MIPCOM. Greenblat said a huge uptick in acquisitions was part of the drive as the studio looks to supplement its offer with more acquired drama, comedy, kids, young adult and Gen Z content. The acquisitions drive is running alongside an enlivened push for original content with Ridley Scott Sci-Fi drama Raised by Wolves, Anna Kendrick-led comedy Love Life, and a slate of new DC Entertainment shows that Greenblat said will be announced in a couple of week’s time.

Factual unit CNN Films is also working on a number of original documentaries. Greenblat said HBO Max was increasingly looking to international for acquisitions and co-production partnerships and that the platform was ‘wide open’ to international shows. Discussing the balance of library and original production, Greenblat said that ‘originals and movies are the reasons people want these [Direct-to-Consumer] platforms, but library rounds them out’. But in a nod to the fine balance studios need to maintain, Greenblat also hailed the linear business which he said was still ‘great’ for Warner. Warner has ‘no interest anytime soon of getting out of the linear business’, he said. 
Fremantle touts changing distributor role
Fremantle International CEO Jens Richter says distributors need to evolve to take full advantage of the changing TV market and bridge the increasing financing deficit for high end drama productions. Speaking to The Amp during MIPCOM, Richter said the Fremantle model embraced production, distribution, packaging and Intellectual Property (IP) and increasingly worked on the basis of early involvement in projects. Budget demands and growing deficits mean distributors need to be involved much earlier in a show’s development to fully capitalize on global sales opportunities and manage the greater risk of higher budget contributions. Richter also said that bringing on broadcast partners early in the development was important to maximise income, as they could take a role in shaping the production for their local market. Getting a big broadcast partner involved early brings greater willingness to contribute budget. 

Richter also noted that the trend for global giants to tie up talent in long-term exclusive deals was presenting challenges and meant broadcasters needed to take more risks and be ‘brave enough to give new voices a chance’, but admitted that established talent was more often the broadcasters’ preference. Success in distribution now requires three skill sets: acting as a contact agency for talent and commissioners; providing and arranging financing; and early-stage development. 
Rakuten TV’s AVoD service to launch in Europe
A new AVOD offering will be added to Rakuten TV’s platform in Europe, in a strategic move to combine transactional and advertising-funded video streaming services. The group’s AVoD channels will initially focus on local and Hollywood programming, and the offering will then be expanded with the addition of several channels including a linear mode, as well as Rakuten exclusive on demand content. 
Currently available in 42 European countries, Rakuten TV can also be directly accessible via a branded remote control button supported on Samsung, LG, Philips and Hisense smart TVs.

Rakuten TV says it sees huge opportunity in its model that sells advertising on half the ad load on traditional TV. The group will focus on the use of consumer data sourced from its on-demand platform and smart TVs to curate its content offering and target users with advertising. Rakuten TV will also rely on branded content to engage with consumers while driving revenue. Matchday: Inside FC Barcelona, an eight-episode documentary series on the Catalan football club, narrated by John Malkovich, will premiere on the European platform in November. 
Movistar+ pushing into US co-production
Telefónica’s Movistar+ is making its first moves into English-language production with a slate of new US co-productions due to be announced in the coming weeks. One of the new shows will be joint English-Spanish language. To date, Movistar+ has focused entirely on Spanish-language originals. Speaking to The Amp during MIPCOM, head of original production Domingo Corral said the group intended to stick with its output level of 12 originals a year, but is seeking to broaden its co-production relationships on the back of its growing reputation in the market and strengthening international sales.

Corral said US Networks were increasingly willing to take risks, making US partners easier to find. While scripted drama remains the focus of Movistar+’s original output, Corral said the company’s theatrical movie original production strategy (revealed exclusively in The Amp MIP TV Special back in April), was paying dividends, with its first project released in Spain this month and becoming the third most-successful Spanish movie of the year. Going forward, Movistar+ will produce two theatrical originals a year. 
ProSiebenSat1 sees global future for Joyn
ProsiebenSat1 CEO Max Conze says his Discovery joint-venture streaming platform Joyn will launch internationally and increase original content as it grows. Speaking during a keynote at MIPCOM, Conze said Joyn will commission 12 original productions by 2020 as part of a €150m investment by the partners. The platform currently offers 55 streaming channels (including national public broadcasters ARD and ZDF), as well as on-demand content in what Conze described as ‘an entertainment footprint, fueling a commercial footprint’.

Conze said the wider company strategy aimed to ‘address universal human needs’ through its diverse investments in online and e-commerce properties that focus on matchmaking, consumer advice, experiences and beauty and lifestyle. The company’s Red Arrow distribution and production division, which has taken it some way down the studio route successfully deployed by peers like ITV and the BBC in the UK, is currently for sale, although Conze said he would also consider partnerships for the unit. 
Beta Film launches Nordic Studio
Germany’s Beta Film has launched Beta Nordic Studios to oversee its production and distribution activities in Scandinavia. The new group combines Dramacorp—the join venture production group of Beta boss Jan Mojto and Swedish-French drama exec Patrick Nebout—with Finnish production group Fisher King. Beta revealed it had taken a majority stake in Fisher King (the group behind Nymphs and Bordertown) and created the new studio during the MIPCOM market. Beta Film has been on a sustained push to acquire production groups, moving rapidly beyond its heritage as a distribution major.

The group has also increasingly looked beyond German language content with Beta-ZDF joint venture Intaglio Films tasked with creating high-end English language drama. The unit’s first production—environmental thriller, Swarm—is about to close financing. Speaking to The Amp during MIPCOM, Beta said the group sees opportunity in leveraging European finance for projects with US talent attached. Beta also has a marketing joint venture with Telefónica’s Movistar+ to distribute some of its key original dramas.
Twitter inks Olympic partnership with Eurosport
Twitter has agreed a wide-ranging deal with Discovery-owned Eurosport for exclusive content and streaming for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic games, the group revealed during a keynote at MIPCOM. Described as ‘a marketing relationship’, Twitter will publish exclusive content and Olympic coverage via the Eurosport Twitter handles. Twitter’s Global VP and Head of Content, Kay Madati, said. Eurosport’s General Manager, Digital, Paul Rehrig, said the Twitter relationship was about extending Olympic coverage to all screens and that Twitter would also be used as a vehicle to drive more traffic to Eurosport-owned and operated platforms, with a big investment going into exclusive articles, features and real-time medal tables.

The Eurosport deal is the latest in a growing push to bring in more broadcast partners, Madati, said. Twitter claims it is complementary, rather than competitive with TV, with Madati saying the relationship was about ‘extending the audience into multi-platform and making money doing it’. Selling advertising across multiple screens, audiences and viewing times will be key to monetizing the partnership. Eurosport said localization was also an important part of the agreement, with plans for 20 local teams to service all of the markets were Eurosport has regional presence. 
Discovery: windowing challenges 'the new normal'
Figuring out how to window content is ‘the new normal’, according to Discovery’s SVP Program Sales, Elliot Wagner. The challenge of balancing content licensing with Discovery’s own direct-to-consumer business and affiliate business is changing the way content is sold, with sales teams exploring shorter contract periods, less exclusivity and new revenue models that may include revenue shares. Speaking to The Amp during MIPCOM, Wagner said that the business built on typical 3-5 year license periods with exclusivity was changing, as Discovery balanced its own direct-to-consumer platforms with the channel business and the desire to continue licensing content internationally.

Ultimately, content deals could end up all being bespoke, he said, as each deal was scrutinized at a local level to make sure it made sense in the new market dynamic. While changes had yet to noticeably impact license fees per hour, the market changes forcing licensing rethinks would inevitably have an impact longer term, he said. Wagner is increasingly focused on opening up new revenue streams for content sales with a formats catalogue based on Scripps content a central pillar of that strategy. Building a formats business would 'not happen overnight, he said, with the business expected to scale over the next 12 to 24 months. The changing demands of buyers for longer catch-up windows and new demand for short form and snackable content was also having an impact, with an increasing focus on how to monetize content that saw its first window on a Discovery digital and an exploration of second, third and fourth window licensing. 
AVoD new catalgoue cash cow for distributors
The AVoD boom is giving distributor’s deep catalogue a second life according to Craig McGillivray, VP Distribution for Canadian production and distribution group Breakthrough Entertainment. As SVoD players increasingly curate and refine their catalogues and focus increasingly on original production, AVoD platforms are creating a new market for older content that would otherwise languish in the catalogue. AVoD is providing a welcome revenue stream in a market where license fees are increasingly under pressure with little to no increase in value per hour over the past 5-8 years.

License fee pressures are driven by the priority being given to original production investment and global licensing deals, which generally operate at a discount to licensing territory-by-territory, McGillivray told The Amp during MIPCOM. Longer catch-up and the complexity of arranging catch-up across channel and platform-owned streaming services is also wiping out second-window value in some markets.

AVoD also means that distributors have to evolve skillsets, getting closely involved in direct marketing of titles licensed to AVoD platforms—something that was previously handled by channel partners. Distributors how have to think about their own Facebook and YouTube promotions for specific show titles.
 
Caracol Televisión: UHD drives content sales
Colombia’s leading commercial broadcaster Caracol Televisión is increasingly turning to Ultra-High Definition (UHD) formats to drive content sales. The group has become one of Latin America’s most active producers of 4K content says Caracol’s Executive Manager Catalina Porto.

The group moved to 4K productions in 2017, with 17 UHD TV shows completed by 2020; next year Caracol will also produce its first High Dynamic Range (HDR) TV programme. The group aims to respond to the growing demand for content, as 4K content facilitates audience engagement Porto said. In the long term, the group plans to solely broadcast UHD content on its national channel.

Quality 4K is also a prerequisite for most global digital sales. Caracol has long been exporting in-house produced content, with the US and Europe as main outlets. Caracol also began working with Netflix in 2016. Talking to The Amp during MIPCOM, Caracol’s Head of International Sales, Maria Zuleta, said the collaboration with Netflix started with licensing agreements and has now moved to original commissions, such as young adult drama series Always a Witch. Caracol renewed its partnership with Netflix early 2019, which involves the coproduction of nine shows over the next three years. Netflix also holds global digital rights for Bolívar, a 60-episode historical period drama centred on the life of Venezuelan liberator Simón Bolívar, and Caracol’s most expensive TV production to date. 
Constantin Film: IP key to international success
German production and distribution company Constantin Film says securing global IP and building relationships with local creatives are the keys to succeed internationally. Speaking at MIPCOM’s Funding Creativity session, Constantin Film board member, Oliver Berben, said that owning IP and brands is very important in order to ensure long term revenues but that ‘it’s not all about money’. Berben stressed that in order to succeed internationally and through co-productions, it is crucial to have contacts with creatives in every market—something that Netflix and Amazon have now realised. 

Berben used Constantin Film and Netflix co-production series Perfume as an example of a successful project, saying it would not have been made five years ago because, traditionally, the storylines of all German productions were tailored to the German market alone. The German content market has since seen an increased investment in content from both local and international players which has led to a ‘larger openness to creativity’. The Netflix and ZDF partnership for Perfume provided a larger budget and an opportunity to change storytelling by ‘allowing them to use radical characters’ which Constantin Film intends to continue.
Hunan TV moves into original format creation
Chinese broadcaster, Hunan TV, is targeting new, original non-scripted show formats, with a focus on co-development with international partners. Previously, Hunan TV’s content strategy focused on licensing international formats, such as the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and Freemantle’s Take Me Out, as well as adapting Asian formats, with Korean formats in particular becoming best sellers in China.

Now, Hunan TV has shifted its focus to originated content production, driven by its new ideas hub, dubbed the BIU Project. Through this, 27 in-house production teams have come up with over 1600 format ideas in the past two years, and Hunan TV created over 500 hours of original non-scripted content in 2018 alone.

Hunan TV has also been exploring co-development opportunities with global partners, with the intention of finding the next big hit show, for both China, and international markets. Hunan TV has partnered with Endemol Shine China to develop a new entertainment show format—Sing or Spin, which premiered on the 18th October, with the ambition to take this format global, adapting it to different broadcasters.
Collaboration is just one of the focuses of the BIU Project, which also places emphasis on innovation and youth. With a target audience of young viewers, Hunan TV hopes to keep its new content youthful by utilizing young production talent – the average age of Hunan’s in-house production teams is just 24 years old. 
Russia’s Yandex.Studio plans originals boost
Yandex.Studio (the production arm of Russia’s largest technology company) is increasing its original output with a new show every month beginning April 2020. During MIPCOM’s funding creativity session, Yandex Studios CEO, Olga Filipuk, said the group would continue to focus on local content targeting Russia’s population of nearly 145m people. Filipuk addressed the ‘myth’ that people in Russia never pay for content, explaining that this ended five years ago and that there are now ten major SVoD players in the market, including Yandex’s KinoPoisk HD. Due to this change, local content producers that traditionally saw free to air channels as their main clients, are now focusing on OTT providers. 

Although no details of the upcoming slate of shows were revealed, Filipuk stated Yandex’s core audience is 65% male and so the majority of shows will focus around a male protagonist. Filipuk also noted technology/AI and adult animation are popular topics amongst the Russian audience, referencing Black Mirror and Rick and Morty as international examples. Yandex says its ability to leverage data gives it a huge advantage in content production, drawing on information from its suite of over 80 services to learn about the wants and needs of the Russian audience. Yandex’s services include Russia’s largest search engine (57.2% market share), a taxi service which merged with Uber in Russia, and two e-commerce platforms.
BBC Studios: changing market opens new funding
Global demand for high quality drama means BBC Studios is now able to fully fund key high end drama productions, according to head Paul Dempsey. Citing BBC Studios' new drama based on Philip Pullmans His Dark Materials, books Dempsey said BBC Studios was able to underwrite the production of the project financially in its entirety for two seasons, adding ‘a project like this would not have been able to have been funded this way if it was even five years ago’. The huge global demand for drama meant buyers for the show came on board quickly: the rights for the series were sold a month after financing was complete to HBO for all territories outside of the UK. 

The changing market also means that ‘every show we have here (MIPCOM) has a completely different funding model’ and that ‘there is no one funding model’, Dempsey said. Traditional models would have seen the BBC partnered typically with international co-producers as well as having buyers for the project before production was underway. 

A key reason behind the BBC now being able to now operate in this way has been the escalation competition in the market as the thirst for content intensifies. The BBC can take advantage of the opportunity to sell to more outlets, meaning it is open to riskier and more ambitious projects that are appropriate for global distribution. 
Viacom International Studios eyes LATAM for sales
Viacom is shunning the direct to consumer market unlike many of its peers, and instead focusing on producing content, both for its own networks and third parties, according to Federico Cuervo, SVP Viacom Studios International Americas. Speaking at MIPCOM, Cuervo explained how this strategy was being utilised in the LATAM region, claiming Viacom’s extensive Latin American production facilities were a ‘one stop shop’ for production. In addition to facilities in Argentina, Viacom has production operations in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil. Cuervo commented that with all of these capabilities Viacom International Studios (VIS) was focused on creating content, ‘not just for our Viacom brands, but also for third parties’, highlighting that Viacom had the ability to provide for different clients with different needs, from free to air channels to platforms.

Adapting LATAM shows to export to other markets has also become more common for VIS over the last year. One example is the adaptation of 100 Days to Fall in Love a show created originally for the Viacom owned channel Telefe in Argentina. It is currently being adapted for Showtime in the US. Expanding its client base beyond LATAM is central to VIS future growth plans and Cuervo addressed the upcoming launches of platforms from HBO, Apple and Disney. Cuervo said, ‘we hope, and we expect to be working with them’ over the next few years ‘that is where we see our business growing’.
 
MIPCOM 2019 Deal Round-Up
The Amp's complete round-up of all the deals agreed during the market across scripted, documentary and kids & family.

Scripted

European broadcasters France Télévisions, TV5 Monde and Belgium’s RTBF agreed to co-produce missing persons drama Laetitia, adapted from the book by Ivan Jablonka, with CPB Films L’Ile Clavel producing and France TV Distribution selling globally. Ireland’s RTÉ and Acorn Media in the USA, as well as distributor ZDFE and TV2 Norway, boarded Irish dramedy The South Westerlies. In cross-regional co-production, ZDF Enterprises has partnered with Japan’s Fuji TV to co-produce football drama The Window, from prodcos Boogie Entertainment (Germany) and Velvet Films (Belgium). ABS-CBN in the Philippines is working with WGN America to create crime series Almost Paradise, from Electric Entertainment, to air in Q1 2020. 

ITV in the UK and Red Production Company commissioned new psychological thriller Finding Alice from the team behind hit show The Durrells. WarnerMedia Entertainment Networks commissioned a new animated comedy featuring Chinese rabbit Tuzki. 

Turkish Producer MY Yapim has bought the remake rights to Japan Nippon TV’s orphanage drama Abandoned—a fifth Nippon remake for the prodco. Also out of Japan, TV Asahi sold remake rights for drama Dele to South Korea’s CRAV, to air in 2020. All3media sold format remake rights to Australian comedy Diary of an Uber Driver to Joyn in Germany. 

Elsewhere in development, US producer Picturestart will partner with Wattpad to adapt coming-of-age book Along for the Ride by Rachel Meinke. Canada’s Reel One Entertainment, USA’s Element 8 Entertainment and France’s La Sabotoire will co-develop a series based on the crime novels of Mary Higgins Clark, with Reel One handling global distribution. In Latin America, Sony Pictures Television has taken the rights to the life of the Colombian cyclist Rigoberto Urán for development as a biographical drama. SOMOS Productions and Onceloops are co-developing musical youth rebellion series Maleducaas in Argentina. In Spain, El Cañonazo Transmedia and All The Kids Entertainment will co-develop 13×30 social network comedy Time to Face, while Atresmedia Studios is developing a WW2 drama project titled La Nueve.  In the UK, RubyRock Pictures and Wild Bunch TV are teaming up for feminist horror anthology series Her Horror

Beta Film and Bonnier in Sweden greenlit the second season of spy thriller Agent Hamilton, which premiered at MIPCOM on the 13th October, Bonnier commissioned legal drama Top Dog from Endemol Shine’s Filmlance, in co-production with ZDF. Elisa Viihde in Finland has commissioned a second season of thriller All the Sins.

Endemol Shine sold a number of titles to new UK SVoD BritBox, including titles such as Thorne: Sleepyhead and Thorne: Scaredycat along with hit crime drama Line of Duty and game show Pointless. Britbox was also purchasing from Kew Media distribution, taking espionage drama Spooks along with comedy panel show 8 out of 10 Cats

Beta Film has sold the Canadian police (and police dog) procedural Hudson & Rex to a range of European broadcasters, including France TV, TNT Serie in Germany, CLT UFA in the Netherlands, LRT in Lithuania, LTV in Latvia and NBCU for Eastern Europe and Africa, as well as Telemundo for Puerto Rico, Uruguay’s Channel 12 and the Belleville Group for Latin America. 

Scandinavian drama continues to be a big hit, with the BBC taking Viaplay and TV3’s Norwegian series Wisting from Banijay Rights, as well as two series from NRK: Nudes from Wild Bunch, and Twin from TrustNordisk. Twin also sold to ITI Neovision for Poland, Slovenia’s RTV, and MHz Networks in the USA, while distribution rights have gone to Umbrella Entertainment in Australia & NZ, California Filmes in Latin America, September Film Rights in Benelux and Amplus Intl in Taiwan. The upcoming Finnish-Chilean, YLE-Chilevisión co-production Invisible Heroes was sold to Spanish OTT Filmin by Eccho Rights. Off-beat Norwegian comedy Magnus, originally on NRK, was picked up by M6 from Hat trick international, to air on cult TV specialist channel SerieClub. M6 picked up the rights to Australian SBS sexting drama The Hunting, from distributor DCD Rights. 

All3Media sold various drama titles into Asia, including the BBC’s Informer and Dark Money, and two seasons of Channel Ten’s (Australia) Playing for Keeps to U-Next in Japaall3n. All3 sold the BBC’s Mrs Wilson to Japan’s Tohokushinsha Film Corporation and Taiwan’s Catchplay. Back in Europe, All3 sold Irish thriller Blood, BBC comedy Back to Life, and ITV thrillers Baptiste, Strangers and Cheat to Pickbox, an SVoD service serving Bosnia & Herzegovina, Montenegro, Slovenia, Croatia and Serbia.
 
UK content travelled well for ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVSGE), with sales of WW2 drama World on Fire to Huanxi Premium in China, Telefónica for Spain, RTL in Germany, Channel A and KT Corp in South Korea, and BBC First in Benelux and Australia, with Australian rights also going to Roadshow. Channel A and KT Corp also took sci-fi drama War of the Worlds, as did NTT Plala in Japan. Period brothel drama Harlots will be seen in Japan on U-Next, as well as SBS Australia and Lightbox New Zealand. ITVSGE pre-sold Young Adult race relations drama Noughts & Crosses to a range of global buyers including BBC First in Benelux, M-Net in South Africa, More TV in Russia and TVNZ. Dramedy Wild Bill and thriller Gold Digger both sold to Seven in Australia and TVNZ.  Wild Bill will also travel to M-Net, YLE in Finland and BBC First in Asia, while Gold Digger goes to BBC First in Benelux. A Confession sold across the Nordics to NRK in Norway, DR in Denmark, SVT in Sweden and YLE in Finland as well as to NPO in the Netherlands; Belgium’s VRT; M-NET in South Africa, Seven in Australia, and BBC First across Asia. ITVSGE sold the German-Swedish ZDF-SVT co-production West of Liberty to US SVoD FilmRise. Finally, Canadian sitcom Schitt’s Creek will travel to Viacom18 in India, ABC in Australia and Fox Asia. 

BBC Studios sold British content across Africa. In the scripted space, this included 150 hours of content, including the first three seasons of The Durrells, two seasons of Doctor Foster and three seasons of comedy Still Open All Hours to the Seychelles Broadcasting Company. Showmax in South Africa licensed a heavy 230 hours, including play adaptation Les Miserables, documentary The Planets and Trigonometry. Elsewhere, a 250-hour package of mixed content sold to a range of SVoD providers across the continent under the Vubiquity banner, which will land in 22 different markets. BBC Studios sold the remake rights to Doctor Foster to Hotstar in India. The French remake of the series has been signed up for a second season by TF1. 

Scandinavia's DRG placed several British comedies in Australia including the ninth season of medical comedy-drama Doc Martin and the fifth season of Roman-era set Plebs with public broadcaster ABC, as well as political sketch show Tracey Ullman’s Show with SVoD Stan. The fifth season of Plebs also sold to Comedy Central New Zealand. Avalon sold BBC-HBO max co-produced comedy StarStruck into Australia and New Zealand with ABC and TVNZ. 

Viacom International Studios has sold the first season of Mexican sketch comedy series Backdoor – Humor por Donde no lo Esperas, originally for Comedy Central Latin America, to Amazon Prime Video. Netflix picked up Turkish prison drama Avlu from Fremantle. Fremantle pre-sold upcoming Channel 4 six-part thriller Baghdad Central to USA streamer Hulu, for launch in 2020. Baghdad Central also sold to Australia’s SBS, along with psychological thriller Dublin Murders, Face to Face, Sci-Fi book adaptation American Gods, The Last Wave, Seizure, political drama Attaché, the Norwegian series Exit and Darkness: Those Who Kill, and documentary Expedition with Steve Backshall

Topic, a new US SVoD to launch in November, purchased Danish comedy Pros & Cons and French drama Vernon Subutex from StudioCanal. Topic also picked up shows from Lagardere Studios Distribution, taking France TV’s national orchestra thriller Philharmonia, which sold to Walter Presents in the UK and Australia. Lagardère inked a deal to distribute worldwide Russian
NTV series Five minutes of Silence. Lagardère Studios signed up to sell upcoming Dutch NL Film, Avotros co-production Commandos

Another French distributor, Mediawan, took French-language rights to German Sci-Fi thriller Spides. Also out of the Netherlands, Dutch Features signed on to sell upcoming thrillers Rogue Justice from Pupkin Film and The Columnist from NL Film, as well as the second season of Mocro Maffia from RTL Productions. RTL’s TVNow VoD platform in Germany bought the rights to Swiss drama Buried Truth and French thriller After the Crash from Global Screen.

Bron Studios in Canada and Headline Pictures in the UK are also taking French content, picking up remake rights to talent agency comedy Dix Pour Cent!, now in a fourth season on France TV. Spain and Italy’s Paramount Channels acquired Newen Distribution’s female-led police procedural Cassandre, along with NBCU’s 13th Street, also in Spain. Huawei Video purchased the Italian rights to 130 hours of Austrian crime thrillers, including series Tatort, Fast Forward and Four Women and a Funeral from ORF-Enterprise.

Indian distributor GoQuest Media has taken global rights for the action titles Paper Pusher and The Policeman’s Wife from Russia’s NTV. GoQuest Media picked up distribution for Ukrainian missing child series Markuss from Media Group Ukraine. Also from NTV, Arait Multimedia will now distribute action crime drama Countdown to Vietnam

CBS Studios International (CBSSI) sold psychological thriller Evil to NBCU international Networks for Latin America. CBSSI sold the linear rights to Star Trek: Discovery and comedy Man with a Plan to Channel 4 in the UK. Channel 4 picked up NBC’s drama Zoey’s Extraordinary Playlist from Lionsgate. A+E Networks sold the first two seasons of alien series Project Blue Book to Viasat World in Central Eastern Europe and RTL in Germany. A+E Networks sold US network Ovation five Lifetime TV movies from A+E Networks Intl. Ovation also purchased the third season of 1920s female private investigator series Frankie Drake Mysteries from Kew Media Distribution. 

Documentary
Ovation took music documentary Nat King Cole: Afraid of the Dark from Kew. Another musician doc, Remembering Whitney, was sold by GRB Studios to Brazil’s Globosat. GRB sold celebrity divorce title Irreconcilable Differences to RTL in the Netherlands, and interview series Close Up with Hollywood Reporter to M-Net in South Africa and NBCU Latin America. Still in music, FilmRise will produce alongside Eagle Rock Entertainment for Icon: Music Through the Lens, telling the stories behind famous photos from musical history, for the UK’s Sky Arts. South Korea’s GHE&M will co-produce Frederic Chopin (Experiencing the Composer) with Poland’s Inbornmedia in 4K.

Grupo Chespirito and THR3 Media Group are to partner on a ‘Chespirito Media Universe’, using the work and characters of the Spanish comedian Chespirito. This will start with a biopic documentary series on the comedian. 

Blue Ant Media’s Saloon Media is producing with Amazon Studios original serial killer documentary Ted Bundy: Falling For a Killer. Blue Ant International sold a range of natural history documentary content to Fox Networks Group in Japan, shopping two marine documentaries; the one-episode Blue and the six episode Great Blue Wild, along with eight-episode 4K series Undiscovered Vistas. Blue Ant also sold one-off nature documentaries Turtle Beach and Rooted, along with fellow one-off alien special UFOs: The Lost Evidence, to Japan’s NHK.

Cineflix Rights was also selling natural history titles, with the Australian Inside Tonga Zoo travelling to Nat Geo Wild in the US and More4 in the UK. Insight TV announced a double renewal (seasons two and three) for original supernatural docuseries Ghost Chasers, featuring two YouTubers as presenters saying it wants to attract more viewers via recognisable talent. Insight TV announced the opening of a US Studio to create specialist 4K factual content for third-party US commissioners, as well as licensing the specialist’s library of originals. Insight will launch a daily one-hour programming block on Virgin Media in the UK. 

As well as comedy titles, DRG sold a range of documentary titles to Australasia. Sky NZ bought art & culture documentary titles Handmade in the Pacific, War of Art, Lazy Boy Garage, Oceans Apart: Art and the Pacific, Auction 11 and The Art of Architecture. TVNZ filled up on Remarkable Places to Eat. Foxtel in Australia took historical docs Dynasties: The Families that Changed the World, Jungle War, Titans of the 20th Century and A Royal Tour of the 20th Century along with true-crime series Detectives: My Killer Case.  Channel Seven took the sixth and seventh seasons of The Yorkshire Vet

French distributor Terranoa sold historical documentaries Pompeii Rising and Vatican: Secrets of the Pope’s City to Viasat, and War Time Rapes: The Unspoken Weapon to RSI, RTS and TV5 Quebec. Young Indian streamer DocuBay purchased from ARTE Distribution and France TV Distribution in France, as well as from the UK’s Scorpion TV. From France TV, Docubay picked up nature docs Living with Wolves and Sleeping in Nature, along with Elizabeth II: A Queen’s Revolution. ARTE inked a deal for Tattoos, along with fandom doc Geek Planet: The Irresistible Rise of a Generation, and gay fatherhood special Father’s Birth. Finally, Docubay took Scorpion TV’s medical marijuana documentary Cannabis to Save My Life, Ahmad Zakii Anwar feature Edge of Obedience and homeless war veteran special Shelter.

A+E Networks UK pre-sold the upcoming Damian Lewis-fronted Spy Wars to a range of broadcasters; Atresmedia and Historia in Spain, Pop TV in Slovenia, Canada’s Blue Ant Media, TVNZ, as well as to streamer Bilibili in China. A+E networks International announced the development of a second season for supernatural documentary series The UnXplained.

BBC Studios has agreed a long-term partnership with Australia’s Nine Network for the BBC Planet franchise. Upcoming titles included in the deal include Seven Worlds, One Planet, Green Planet, Perfect Planet, as well as the sequels Planet Earth III and Frozen Planet II. Elsewhere, BBC Studios sold Planet Earth II to Mediamax Network in Kenya. BBC Studios will co-produce a new ten-episode natural history series, Animal Impossible, with China Mobile’s MIGU Video platform. BBC Studios’ Science Unit took its first Netflix commission, for which it will produce an untitled documentary on pioneering surgeons. 

Keshet International sold a range of UK factual content, selling 11 different shows to 15 different global buyers. Prison Girls: Life Inside sold to A+E Networks in the US, NBNN Vara in the Netherlands, Nine Network in Australia and TVNZ. TVNZ jumped on Around the World by Train, which will be seen on SBS in Australia and in the second window on Foxtel across both countries, with BBC First also taking rights. Foxtel in Australia picked up Casualty 24/7 and River Hunters, with Casualty 24/7 picked up by Sky New Zealand and TV4 in Sweden as well. SBS took My Extreme…Life and My Sexual Fantasy, with My Extreme…Life also selling to Docs de Cologne in Germany and Hot8 in Israel. Hot8 bought My Dad the Paedophile. Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing travels to SVT in Sweden, Secrets of the Factories was bought by TRL in the Netherlands, while Speed Freaks will be shown across Latin America on Discovery. 

A documentary series will be developed from the audio recordings from Nelson Mandela’s autobiography by Hipster Media in South Africa and Zig Zag Productions in the UK. 

Entertainment & Reality
Problem dog training series The Dog Whisperer will be rebooted by Rive Gauche Television and Dog Whisperer Productions. M-Net in South Africa has signed up for a second season of NBCU’s format The Real Housewives of Johannesburg, to launch later this year. M-Net has commissioned a new dating format, The Big Five, co-developed with Keshet International. 

Alchimie, the content aggregator and distributor, acquired 560 hours of sports content from Switch International, for distribution across the company’s specialist thematic SVoD channels across the UK and Europe. Also in sport, Twitter has signed a deal with Eurosport to offer highlights of Tokyo 2020, along with live coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies. 

TVP in Poland signed up for new seasons of all three The Voice series from Talpa, with a first season of The Voice Senior, along with the eleventh season of The Voice, and a third season of the kids version. The Voice will be heard in Nigeria, with Fame TV taking both the standard and junior versions. Finally, The Voice sold to Japan for the first time, where it will be produced by Voice Lariat. Elsewhere in Poland, Prime Entertainment Group got in on the celebrity act, selling entertainment titles Hollywood Stories and celebrity portrait series Close Up to POLSAT. Cineflix Rights sold the HGTV renovation series Property Brothers: Forever Home to Discovery Networks for Asia, Latin America, Benelux, the Nordics and New Zealand, along with Foxtel in Australia, Israel’s Talit, Platforma Canal+ in Poland, RTL Croatia, SIC Portugal, Sky Italia and UKTV. 

As well as drama, All3Media was busy selling reality content into Japan, with Travel Guides (Australia), originally on Nine Network, travelling to BS Disney and Celebrity Undercover, originally for CBS in the US, travelling to Wowow. All3Media has created a new UK prodco, Angelica Films, with Sally Angel to focus on premium factual and documentary. Coming out of Japan, the game show format Block Out from Nippon TV has sold to Indonesia’s ANTV and Vietnam’s VTV. ABC in the US has picked up game show format The Hustler from the UK’s Studio Lambert. 

In Australia, Front Runner Productions and FredBird Entertainment will co-produce alternative lifestyle series Live Differently. ITV Studios Global Entertainment (ITVSGE) will co-develop the game show format Trust Me I’m a Six-Year-Old with Spain’s Atresmedia Studios. ITVSGE sold the format to game show Catchpoint to Greece’s Alpha TV, for an initial 150×60 episodes. ITV’s Armoza Formats licensed Channel One in Russia to remake Canadian format Dance Revolution. ITV Studios label Imago TV in Germany bought the rights to social experiment show Powerless, originally on SVT in Sweden from Small World IFT.

Fremantle sold dating / Big Brother hybrid format Five Guys a Week, originally on Channel 4 in the UK and heavily advertised at MIPCOM, to RTL4 in Holland and TV4 in Sweden. Fremantle saw even more success in the romance reality genre, selling Naked Television’s Secret Admirer to XEE in Denmark. Fremantle agreed a partnership with Mixer Films to represent Fremantle formats in Brazil. The Nordics were fertile ground for UK format sales this market, with Finland’s Nelonen picking up the rights to singing format All Together Now from Endemol Shine.

Also from Endemol Shine, the Greek version of Big Brother will be re-launched on Skai in 2020, after a 10 year hiatus. Endemol Shine picked up the rights to make Vivendi’s Celebrity Song Challenge in Italy, while Tower Productions took the rights for Germany. Endemol Shine has co-developed new entertainment format Sing or Spin with Hunan TV in China. In a similar deal out of China, Mango TV and Sky Vision Media signed up to co-develop new entertainment formats.
 
Story Lab sold its social experiment format You Are Not A Loan to Wise Monkeys in Holland and Monday TV in Denmark. NBCU sold its craft competition format Making It to Discovery Finland for a 10×60 series. Fox Entertainment has signed up Propagate Content to exclusively represent Fox’s unscripted programming and format rights globally out side of North America. Argentine fashion competition format The Fashion House will be sold internationally by Israel’s Dori Media. 

Banijay Group will partner with Guinness World Records to represent the brand’s entertainment show La Notte Dei Record, which currently airs on Magnolia in Italy, in 15 new markets; the USA, UK, Ireland, Germany, France, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Nordics, Russia, India, Australia and New Zealand. Banijay signed an agreement with Canadian indie Arcadia Content, which will see the pair co-develop factual and entertainment projects. Finally, Banijay Group launched a new adventure TV studio label, The Natural Studios, from Bear Grylls and Delbert Shoopman, with Banijay acting as production and distribution partner. In other studio news, Chicken Soup for the Soul Entertainment has launched a new production company, Landmark Studio Group, focused on the development and production of new entertainment formats.

Kids’ & Family
NENT Group in the Nordics has commissioned Moonbug to produce a spin-off of the hit property Little Baby Bum, titled Mia’s Magic Playground, with an early 2020 launch in the pipeline. Animated comedy Kitty is Not a Cat has been picked up for a third season of 52 eleven-minute episodes by Seven Network in Australia, ahead of the second season’s launch this autumn. 

Canada’s IoM Media Ventures Inc. has signed Paw Patrol creator Keith Chapman to develop new CGI series Farmer Mars. The Illuminated Film Company and Zodiak Kids Studios will co-produce picture book adaptation Look Up!, with Zodiak taking all distribution rights. Japan’s ADK Emotions and India’s Green Gold Animation will co-produce and co-distribute a 3D animated adventure series, Nebula and the Big Blue Couch. Elsewhere in Japan, Flying Ship Studio is teaming up with Verite Entertainment in the US to create friendly pirate series Captain Bal. Synergy88 in the Philippines, Minoria Absoluta in Spain and August Media in Singapore are partnering with Manchester City FC to develop an animated academy footballer series.

China’s Fantawild Animation, Little Airplane Productions in the US and its parent Studio 100 from Germany have partnered to finance alien healthcare animation Doctor Space. Also in Germany, ZDFE and Red Balloon Film will develop a 26 episode series and feature film based on the Alea Aquarius young-adult adventure book, with completion eyed for 2022. 

Studio 100 sold 390 episodes of kid’s content to Hungary’s MTVA, equating to more than 100 hours of content overall, with notable animated series in the deal including Wissper, Nils Holgersson, Miffy Adventures, Heidi and The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill, as well as the live-action series Kosmoo

Kenya’s Mediamax Network took two seasons of Junior MasterChef and seven seasons of school spy drama MI High from BBC Studios. BBC Studios sold more than 100 hours of CBeebies content, including titles such as Bluey, cookery show My World Kitchen, pet care show My Pet and Me, and the educational Yakka Dee, to Chinese streamer Youku. Youku signed up to co-produce with Genius Brands International the animated Stan Lee’s Superhero Kindergarten—the first co-production with the USA for Youku. Viacom International Media Networks will develop Little Luban with Youku, based on a traditional Chinese story, with Nickelodeon taking international rights.  Nickelodeon International has commissioned its first international original, live action comedy Goldie’s Oldies, which will be produced in-house at Viacom in the UK.

Nickelodeon in the US bought the third season of Ryan’s Mystery Playdate from Pocket.Watch. Pocket.Watch sold series Hobby Kids Adventures and Challenge Squad to US streaming service Vudu, while Hobby Kids Adventures sold to Hulu, along with three other titles; HobbyKids Ultimate Mishmash, EvanTube Ultimate Mishmash and Ryan’s World. Hulu sold LGBT+ animated series The Bravest Knight to Israeli broadcaster Hop!

Elsewhere in VoD, new AVoD channel Yaaas!, which will launch in the UK in early 2020, will do so with a range of Aardman animated titles such as Wallace & Gromit: Cracking Contraptions and Shawn the Sheep: Moss Bottom Shorts. AVoD / SVoD platform Kidoodle.TV has licensed six shows—I Got a Rocket, Dive Olly Dive, Hero 108, Chloe’s Closet, Pet Alien and Toddworld, from Splash Entertainment. Five minute episodes totaling 156 minutes of the Russian animation BabyRiki were sold by Imira Entertainment to Viacom International-owned Latin America SVoD platform Noggin. Elsewhere in Latin America, Discovery Kids has taken a range of movies from Air Bud, including five from the Air Buddies series, and four from the Pup Stars franchise. 

Media IM sold the Belarussian animation Sunny Bunnies to South Korea’s Disney Channel, as well as non-exclusively across Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia with Yeah1 Group- where the online partner will be WildBrain. Out of South Korea, independent producer HongDangMoo sold to Indonesian broadcaster RTV animated adventure series Magic Adventures: The Crystal of Dark, as well as selling the digital rights for Spain, Italy and Portugal to Showlab. 

The animated Bakugan: Battle Planet sold well for Nelvana and Spin Master, with a wide range of global deals with Nine Network in Australia, TVNZ, Super RTL in Germany and RTL across Hungary, Croatia and the Netherlands, M6, Gulli and Canal J for France and Africa, Pop in the UK, Cartoon Network across the Middle East, Spain and Italy, 1+1 in Ukraine, Star in Greece, VMMa in Belgium, PopTV in Slovenia, and SIA in the Baltics. 

Russia’s Riki Group’s 52×5 series Dinocity has been sold to DeA Kids in Italy and YLE in Finland by APC Kids. The Riki Group’s Fun Union, along with Studio 100, have sold the animated spin-off from Kiko-riki, Pincode to Austria’s ORF. Quintus Media will distribute Indian animation studio Cosmos-Maya’s properties Eena Meena Deeka, Motu Patlu and Tik Tak Tail in the US, with 179 half-hour episodes between the three. 

France’s Superights picked up distribution for animated titles Claytime, Koumi’s Animated Picture Book, and one episode special The Hen, The Cat & Other Bugs! from producers Reaz, Le Regarde Sonor and Les Films du Nord. Also in France, Canal+ commissioned six new half-hour episodes of preschool book adaptation Ella, Oscar & Hoo to build on the success of the initial 52×11 first season.

 
Medientage: 23-25 October 2019, Munich, Germany**
Asia Video Summit: 4-6 November 2019, Hong Kong
American Film Market: 6-13 November 2019, Santa Monica, USA
asi Int. TV & Video Conference: 6-8 November 2019, Prague, Czech Republic**
Cable Congress: 13-14 November 2019, Berlin, Germany**
SportsPro OTT Summit: 19-21 November 2019, Madrid, Spain**
Screenlovers Video Wars Conference: 20 November 2019, Warsaw, Poland**
Asia TV Forum: 3 - 6 December 2019, Singapore
Content London: 3-6 December 2019, London, UK*
Video Exchange Streaming: 3-4 December 2019, London, UK**
Future TV Advertising Forum: 10-11 December 2019, London, UK**
NEM Zagreb: 11-13 December 2019, Zagreb, Croatia**
CES: 7-10 January 2020, Las Vegas, USA
NATPE Miami: 21-23 January 2020, Miami, USA
Berlin Film Festival & European Film Market: 20 February - 1 April 2020, Berlin, Germany.
Mobile World Congress: 24-27 February 2020, Barcelona, Spain

*Ampere will attend
**Ampere will present
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News editor: Toby Holleran. Managing editor: Guy Bisson

Contributors: Hannah Walsh, Lottie Towler, Léa Cunat, Daniel Gadher, Fred Black, Ed Border, Richard Broughton.
Copyright © 2019 Ampere Analysis, All rights reserved.


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