This Tuesday in Madrid, HBO Spain presented its new programming for the second quarter of 2018, announcing three months of international premieres from HBO's headquarters, along with many new acquisitions.
But among the many titles presented at the event, one of them stood out from the rest: Destino Rusia 2018, the first co-production between HBO Spain and HBO Latin America, which will make its debut in both regions in April, with 10 episodes and 20 stories related to the world of football and the FIFA World Cup.
"HBO Latin America had already produced Destino Sudáfrica and Destino Brasil, and this was the third series of the kind they produced. The idea of joining forces basically came from a conversation with Roberto Ríos (VP of Original Content at HBO Latin America), someone who I respect and care for very much, whom I've known throughout this year that HBO has been in Spain, as the latest addition for HBO in Europe," Miguel Salvat, Director of Original Programming at HBO Spain, said to ttvnews.
"Between the two of us that in light of this project and based on the HBO's know-how in Latin America, it was a good opportunity to add Spain and then Europe, because football is the most universal thing in the world," he added.
Destino Rusia will be produced by HBO across Europe and feature stories from the different territories where the brand is present, both in Latin America and Europe.
The series, Salvat added, will also showcase different stories "with the HBO stamp."
"The important thing is the approach, the focus, the type of stories we tell, which are not the typical stories you see every day in the newspapers, nor the gossip that's often told about big football stars. They're humane stories, unique, with real values. We don't choose the protagonists because they're famous, but rather because they have real stories to tell," he said.
"It's going to be very emotional and very universal, just like football is, which is a much more universal phenomenon now than ever," he added.
And Destino Rusia could also be the first of several collaborations with Latin America, an idea that's present, but that Salvat is taking with caution.
"I think it's a good precedent. It's a mold we've broken, but we have to be cautious and see with each project what makes sense and what doesn't, and not do things lightly or in a shallow way. I'd like for us to find other examples that make sense, we'll see, but as of now, we've only taken the first step," he said.
"We are open to absolutely everything, we're still in touch, we've created a bond that didn't exist before, a solid relationship. We have a lot of common interests and we will look at projects and analyze potential opportunities, but HBO's main work in Spain is held under HBO Europe's umbrella and my natural habitat is Europe, although I'm still talking to Miami as much as I can and more, because we are natural allies," he added.
Finally, in terms of original production in Spain, the executive held his ground and didn't share about ongoing projects. He did say, however, the company is working on many projects, including Patria, its already-announced first original series.
"HBO's production strategy in Spain is the same as in each of HBO's countries in Europe, which is to identify and develop local projects done by local people, both in front and behind the camera, that tell local stories with local relevance," he explained.
"Having said this, they're stories that have to work with the rest of HBO's territories in Europe, so we must find a balance for the "Spanishness" of the story to not be an obstacle, but rather have it be an open door to enter a universe that clients in the rest of the territories might not know about," he added.
In this scenario, HBO Spain will take its time to find the ideal projects. "I'd like to do a lot of things, but we have to do very few in order to do them right," he concluded.