Disney has begun discussing ideas for local content for Disney+ in Central and Eastern Europe. “We’ve received quite a few of them,” he confirmed when asked by DigiZone.cz. Lee Mason, Director responsible for selecting scenarios in Europe. “It’s something so new, we only got it a few days ago,” he said during a panel discussion on International Originals on Friday.
The press conference was held in Anaheim, California during the annual D23 Show for three days. With that, Disney is giving fans and journalists the chance to see special previews, or even raw concepts, of upcoming movies, series, and shows. Czech, Slovak or Hungarian journalists can participate in this event for the first time this year.
Lee Mason confirmed that the company is setting up a production hub for Central and Eastern Europe. Even this in itself is still something new, since he only employed his first collaborators. This new branch will complement the already existing production centers, which are usually in the metropolises of Western Europe. “We’re in the early stages, but we’re definitely working on it,” Mason said.
Disney’s International Content and Operations (ICO) division handles all international content created outside of North America. Its activities are divided into four global regions. These are Latin America, India, the Asia Pacific region, and finally Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). The latter region includes offices in France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Turkey and Great Britain. Headquarters in London.
International Content representatives Fernando Barbosa (Latin America), Gaurav Banerjee (India), Jessica Kam-Engle (Asia Pacific) and Lee Mason (Europe, Middle East and Africa) spoke to reporters. Among them stands the director of this department, Rebecca Campbell, in a white suit.
Programs produced in the United States or Great Britain have high ratings around the world, but local content increases the interest of subscribers. They also want to see stories close to them. “We realize that one model does not fit all, which is why we need to invest in local production,” the director of international content said in a meeting with reporters. Rebecca Campbell. “We are pleased with the interest in such programs so far,” she added.
For Europe, Disney currently produces content in seven languages. To date, 147 programs have been created, and by the end of this year the number will increase to 210 titles. Local content doesn’t automatically mean just playwrights. For example, Disney+ users in India can watch TV broadcasts of the most important cricket league matches on the app. Sports broadcasting is also popular in Latin America.
The current European news that was announced at the D23 fair was created in Great Britain or Spain. For example, it is a crime comedy series wedding season (Wedding season). A documentary film was also created in Britain Save our teamin which David Beckham He coaches young footballers in East London to keep their club from relegation. Spanish remake of a romantic musical series No Ultima About a shop owner who wants to become a singer and at the same time finds the love of her life.
Like Netflix, Disney also strives to make local content strong enough to counter global distribution and find viewers outside of its core region. He also wants to evaluate content from Central and Eastern Europe from the same perspective. Lee Mason noted that “universally understood stories have the opportunity to travel the world.”
An example of a “travel story” is the Argentine series Svatá Evita, which will also be watched by Disney + subscribers in the Czech Republic. The scenario is inspired by the real dramatic events after the death of Eva Perón aka Evita. Her body was embalmed so that it could be displayed in a planned memorial. But it was never completed, and instead a political coup occurred and the corpse disappeared. It has been hidden in an unknown location for twenty years, so as not to become an unwanted symbol. The actress produced the series Salma Hayekplays the role of the title Natalia Oreiro.
The International Content section was only officially created at the beginning of this year. “Great content is the foundation for the success of our streaming services. That’s why I’m excited to work even more closely with talented creators in international markets whose new stories will be relevant locally while delighting our audiences around the world,” Campbell said.
Its department is not only in charge of streaming services. It is also responsible for the operation of traditional television stations, international distribution of programs, or advertising time selling strategy. 350 local television stations in 180 countries belong to the Disney group.
There are also differences in the concept or catalog of streaming services. In Europe, a single comprehensive Disney+ app operates for Disney, Marvel, Pixar, National Geographic, Star Wars and television productions under the Star name. In India, the service is called Disney + Hotstar, in the countries of the Asia-Pacific region, both options appear (Disney + and Disney + Hotstar). And in Latin America, the Disney+ and Star+ services coexist side by side, but they are sold as a single bundle.
In any case, the cheaper Disney+ subscriptions will gradually appear in all markets in exchange for displaying ads in the app. Rebecca Campbell commented on this news during her comment on this news, saying: “We will launch Disney + with ads in America by the end of 2022. Then the international markets will come during 2023, but we are still working on the timing and arrangement of countries.” Meeting with journalists.
Netflix already has a production center
Even rival Netflix, whose Central European office was recently established in Warsaw, Poland, does not underestimate the importance of investing in local content. From there, he manages to collaborate with filmmakers and searches for filming locations. It is responsible for a total of 27 markets, including acquisitions. Therefore, it acquires the rights to broadcast Czech films and series. In a recent press release, he calculated that during the time he ran the Czech edition, he had purchased licenses to issue around 500 titles.
The film industry in Central and Eastern Europe is known for its creative traditions and local talent. In the Czech Republic itself, over the years we have invested in licensing great content, such as the famous triple theater and their film project Three Tigers: Jackpot or the popular family comedies Prvok, Šampón, Tečka and Karel. Promised Łukasz Kluskiewicz, Director of the Department of Local Films in Central and Eastern Europe of the Division of Local Films.
On the contrary, HBO recently shut down its regional production capacities in Central and Eastern Europe for economic reasons. In connection with the restructuring of parent company Warner Bros. Discovery has also offered for sale ongoing shows as well as some previous successful series.