Pina Mezzera - 29/05/2015

Conecta Fiction, a Chance to Build Bridges

Guillermo Borensztein, VP of Content Sales and Coproductions at VIMN, spoke with ttvnews about Viacom International Studios' development and content strategy, highlighting series like To Catch a Thief and Los internacionales. 

*By Pina Mezzera, from Santiago de Compostela, Spain

During Connecta Fiction 2018, which took place on June 19-21 in Santiago de Compostela (Spain), Guillermo Borensztein, VP of Content Sales and Coproductions at Viacom International Media Networks, spoke to ttvnews about the company's strategy in the creation, production and distribution of global content.

"During the LA Screenings we announced the launch of Viacom International Studios, with the aim at rethinking business model both inside and out," explained Borensztein.

The announcement implies the creation of a structure designed to produce and license content for Viacom's brands, but also to encourage the coproduction of projects, both in-house and with third parties.

"It's focused on scaling up by producing original projects and even investing in projects where our brands are not involved as windows," added the executive.

"We're open to co-production schemes, to rethinking traditional business models, and -as content evolves- to even be creative from a business point of view."

In fact, Viacom is committed to producing more than 1000 hours of original content per year.

"Each project is different. They won't all live in our portfolio. This means that we will have projects developed, produced and aired by third parties," said Borensztein.

"Some of them have the involvement of local partners and we join as producers rather than broadcasters, with the chance to license the content for Argentina on Telefe, or being able to play with other players in the region," he added.

In this sense, Viacom's strategy is to cover the entire business scheme.

"We want to be involved in the creation, development, production and distribution of content," said the executive. "We are an IP company, but we understand that the market changes and we want to be at the forefront as Latin American leaders with an eye on the rest of the world."

"We don't want to be stuck in a particular genre; we want to cover all demos in Spanish and Portuguese. Which we can with studios in Buenos Aires, Rio (and) Miami; with the chance of also producing in Mexico and Colombia; and with the intention of starting to produce bilingual content in the next two years with the aim of producing in English in the future," he added.

The Connection between Spain and Latin America

As for partnerships between Spain and Latin America, Borensztein stressed that "being able to take advantage of incentives that favor production" is challenging.

In this sense, the executive gave two examples of projects Viacom is coproducing alongside Spain.

First up is To Catch a Thief, a series from Javier Olivares and based on Alfred Hitchcock's classic film - part of Paramount Pictures library -. "We will be producing the series with a Spanish partner (that we are going to) announce soon," said the executive.

And the second one is Los internacionales, which will be produced alongside Mediapro and shot in Argentina, Colombia and Spain.

"There's a boom for Spanish series. We've all seen the impact of Money Heist, The Department of Time, Velvet and Grand Hotel. We feel it's the perfect time to build bridges and think (about) this type of projects from Spain and Argentina from a global point of view," he concluded.

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