« Turkish drama ends up in Sweden » – C21 Media

« A Swedish channel has acquired Turkish drama series The End (25×90′) from prodco Ay Yapim and distributor Eccho Rights.

Pubcaster SVT plan to air the series on SVT2 in an access primetime slot in January 2013 as a daily half-hour version. The show originally aired earlier this year on ATV in Turkey.

“We are to be the first major broadcaster in Western Europe to air a series from the vibrant Turkish television drama scene. The End is a great and different addition to our drama slate,” said Göran Danasten, head of fiction at SVT.

The series tells the story of a man who disappears after a plane crash. Eccho Rights is the distribution arm of newly merged Sparks Networks of Sweden and Eccho Media of Benelux.

The SVT sale continues the boom in Turkish drama exports, which have seen series from the Eurasian territory airing across the Balkans, often ousting US imports from schedules there. »

Source : C21 Media

« MBC finds drama in Turkey » – C21 Media

Ezel. Source : C21 Media

« Middle Eastern broadcaster MBC Group has boosted its drama slate with the acquisition of two Turkish dramas, including one based on The Count of Monte Cristo.

Crime drama Ezel, based on Alexander Dumas’ novel, follows the story of a man who seeks revenge when he is betrayed by his best friend and his girlfriend after a casino robbery goes wrong.

The series, produced by Ay Yapim, first aired in Turkey on Show TV in 2009 before transferring to ATV.

The second pick-up is Zaman Ki, a drama set in the 1960s that focuses on the fictional Akarsu family, which is torn apart when the father, a seaman, has an affair while abroad on a fishing trip.

It was an original Kanal D series produced by D Productions.

Both series, dubbed into Arabic, will launch on female-skewing MBC4 next month.

The channel also airs primetime US shows including Pretty Little Liars, Grey’s Anatomy, The Vampire Diaries, The Good Wife and medical talk series The Dr Oz Show, alongside other Turkish dramas and soaps. It is also preparing the launch the third season of Arabs Got Talent. »

Source : C21 Media

« ATV delves into Mid East history » – C21 Media

« Turkish broadcaster ATV is preparing to air a new historical drama described as the largest production ever to be made in the Middle East.

Omar Ibn Al Khattab (31×60′), coproduced by MBC Group and Qatar TV, charts the life of Khalifeh Omar Ibn Al Khattab and the Islamic empire he built.

ATV acquired the finished programme, which will be dubbed for Turkish viewers.

Fadi Ismail, general manager of MBC Group’s O3 Productions, said: “ATV has shown interest in the series ever since the idea developed, continuing as production started, until they finally gained the broadcasting rights to air the series dubbed in Turkish.”

Mutlu Inan, deputy general manager of ATV, added: “As a Muslim country, Turkey has an appetite for historical series chronicling the lives of our great Islamic leaders. The series Omar has set a perfect example for this kind of programming.”

He predicted a “spectacular performance” during Ramadan this year.

When it was first announced in September 2010, the drama was described by MBC Group chairman Sheikh Waleed Al Ibrahim as the biggest historical TV drama production ever to be made in the region. »

Source : C21 Media

Author : Michael Pickard

 

« Discop Istanbul 2012 » – Turkish News

Source : Turkish News

« More attendees than in its first edition, a great demand for documentaries, co-production deals, animation, and a strong investment on local promotion, are some of the event’s highlights. With a significant increase in the number of attendees, the Ceylan Intercontinental in Turkey has closed its doors, thus ending a new edition of Discop Istanbul (February 28 – March 1).

After witnessing a significant increase in the number of guests present at the event, the Ceylan Intercontinental hotel in Turkey closed its doors, thus ending a new edition of Discop Istanbul, which took place on February 28 – March 1. Some of the main highlights -according to several attendees- were the search for co-production and adaptation deals for formats, animation and documentaries.

“One of the market’s strong suits is documentary sales,” said Jennifer from A&E Networks. “Nowadays, here you can see excellent TV movies, series and general dramas. But outside their primetimes, these networks program documentaries and educational programs, and that’s where our production quality surpasses what they do in these markets,” she added.

According to Xavier Aristimuño, SVP of new business sales and development at Telemundo Internacional, producing high quality fiction series entails “analyzing co-production deals that are convenient for both parties. This is why our presence in markets like this one has to do with our interest on both selling our products and identifying good projects.”

Meanwhile, Guido Baumhauer, head of distribution at Deutsche Welle, believes “the development of new platforms and the constant growth in content offers forces us to search for distribution deals that are just right for us. Given our structure, it’s not so much about producing locally with big budgets; it’s about finding windows that allow us to add value to the content we already have.”

According to Mathieu Béjot, representative of TV France International, as far as French companies focused on exporting content go, “this market has been fruitful for those which distribute documentaries and animation, since for the rest, competition with local products was quite tough.”

Yet, according to Katia Sol, head of international sales at AB International Distribution in France, “the potential within these markets has a lot to do with the type of content. For instance, our series Mafiosa -possibly the most internationally distributed French series- has been very accepted, which proves the potential these types of series have in these markets.”

THE PARTIES

Another one of the event’s highlights were definitely the amazing parties, especially the one organized by Global Agency at an antique Palace by the Bosphorus, where approximately 300 people enjoyed a lavish affair with great production and technical resources.

With not quite as much production yet still successful were the parties organized by ATV at the Arabesque restaurant and Kanal D at 360 in Istanbul. »

Source : Turkish News

« Murdoch tells Erdoğan interested in expanding investment in Turkey » – Today’s Zaman

Ruppert Murdoch. Source : Today's Zaman

« Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met with News Corporation Chairman Rupert Murdoch on Tuesday afternoon in Ankara.

The Australian-American media mogul’s meeting with Erdoğan followed last month’s media reports that his News Corporation was planning to buy Turkish Çalık Holding’s Sabah daily and ATV station.

A Turkish official close to the prime minister told The Associated Press that Murdoch has expressed an interest in expanding investments in Turkey.

The official said Murdoch told Erdoğan during the meeting that he regarded Turkish media as an « important sector » for investments.

The Turkish official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government rules, would not say if Murdoch expressed interest in acquiring Turkey’s ATV television and Sabah newspaper.

Murdoch in 2007 shared with the Turkish government that he “seriously contemplated the acquisition of Sabah and ATV” when they were put up for sale by the state’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF). Following confiscation by the TMSF of Turkish business tycoon Turgay Ciner’s Merkez Media Group in 2007, the Çalık Group acquired Sabah and ATV along with other smaller entities for $1.25 billion in 2008. The News Corporation’s Wall Street Journal said in late January that US media giant Time Warner Inc. and private equity firm TPG Capital are also interested in Sabah and ATV.

Murdoch’s reputation as a media tycoon was smeared by a scandal last year that even forced the British government to make a statement regarding its links to the mogul’s media empire. Following the discovery of systemic phone hacking made by Murdoch’s News International, police arrested dozens of reporters as well as a number of executives working for him. »

Source : Today’s Zaman

« Turkish TV series gather at Istanbul fair » – Hürriyet Daily News

« The Turkish and regional television industry has gathered at the DISCOP Istanbul Television Broadcasting Fair, which kicked off Feb. 28.

The fair, taking place at Istanbul’s Ceylan Intercontinental Hotel, includes participants from 32 countries in the Middle East, Central Asia and North Africa that together boast more than 500 million viewers.

The first conference of the fair, which took place Feb. 28, was moderated by Nick Holdsworth, Variety Magazine’s East Europe and Middle Asia chief. The conference focused on the Silk Road and Middle Asia. The second conference will focus on a “Renaissance in Arab content,” discussing how Arab content can be successful abroad.

KanalD, the Samanyolu Broadcasting Group, Show TV, Turkish Radio & TV Corporation (TRT), WWE Turkey, ATV Broadcasting, Digiturk, Calinos Entertainment and ITV – Inter Medya are all presenting their series at the fair. The fair provides a platform for Global Agency, which has distributed series such as “İffet,” “Behzat Ç.,” “Kalbim 4 Mevsim” and “Firar” from Turkey’s private Star TV channel.

Global Agency, whose goal is to distribute the most watched series around the world, has sold “Muhteşem Yüzyıl” (The Magnificent Century) to 40 countries and is among the five fastest growing distribution companies in the world.

The fair is gathering 120 international content providers in Istanbul for presentations and discussions on TV formats, program packages, movie portfolios and more. Global Agency has been attending television broadcasting fairs around the world for the past eight years. The company will also present movie projects such as “Love in a different language” and “1,001 Nights” to international companies in addition to various competition formats. »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News

« Atv shows viewed all over the globe » – Sabah

With around 2,000 hours of original programming produced each year, ATV has a « pioneer outlook » on the current market and is at the forefront of the « Turkish drama boom », as its content sales deputy manager, Ziyad Varol, told ttv.

Ziyad Varol: « Our Programs are Sold in Over 60 Countries »

As part of Turkey’s « drama boom », ATV -owned by Turkuvaz Media Group- follows the current high quality drama production trend; and the company doesn’t stop there. On the contrary, its growing international catalog also includes formats and various TV genres that enter the international arena as a result of the channel’s daily endeavors in the local market.

« The channel is known for its enthralling dramas, hilarious comedies, action-packed series and engaging sitcoms, all of which are produced in the highest quality. With a creative and pioneering approach, ATV successfully produces many unique and original programs, bringing an array of fabulous stories and first rate actors to the TV screen, » Ziyad Varol, ATV’s Content Sales deputy manager, says.

ATV currently produces around 2,000 hours of original programming including TV series, daily shows, lifestyle-entertainment and current affairs programs. However, overlooking the drama genre in Turkey can be quite dangerous.

« Drama stands at the core of the TV industry in Turkey, especially for mainstream channels and independent production houses, » he explains. Also, the executive recognizes the industry’s efforts as a whole and assures « all players deserve to be applauded » for their intense work and for succeeding in enhancing the Turkish audiovisual production quality standards. « We are proud to be part of this achievement, » Varol says.

Obviously, the local drama prominence is also reflected on the international demand for Turkish series. Yet, the executive believes in content diversification, as other kinds of content also produced in the country are having good performances overseas. « Based on the sales figures, the most popular genre appears to be drama. However, action and dramedy are also the types of genres people show interest in during international markets. If you take a look at ATV’s catalog you will also see two formats which have been very successful in Turkey; Match&Marry and Straight Forward.

When Turkey’s drama boom was just emerging, ATV’s titles were only distributed to the Middle East. « However, there are already over 60 countries buying Turkish programs, » he states. The Middle East, Balkans, Ex-Yugoslavian countries, Transcaucasia, Post-Soviet states and Eastern Europe are amongst the main buyers. « Nevertheless, it’s not a dream to expect Turkish titles to find slots in major European countries, India, Japan or even America in the future, either as taped content or formats. In the past, no one could anticipate the role that Turkish products are currently playing in the global TV market. »

BRAND NEW TRIO

In recent months, ATV has launched three new titles which, according to Ziyad Varol, have been successful in the local market and have also captured the attention of international buyers: TV series Life Goes On, The End and The Cliff. « From one of the most famous directors in Turkey, Mahsun Kirmizigul, Life Goes On draws attention to early marriage incidents that are still common in many regions in the world and portrays the dramatic life of a 15-years-old girl who is forced to marry a 70 year old man, » he says. In addition, all 25 episodes of The End have made an impact as « one of the most unique TV projects in the Turkish TV history; » and The Cliff tells « the story of a woman coming to Turkey with her sister with the hope of working as a nanny. She manages to escape from the trap she falls into at the last moment ».

Lastly, Varol shares his outlook on DISCOP Istanbul, a local event for ATV to test the market and the strength of its presence in the region: « It’s a small market, but we are glad to have an event like this taking place in Turkey. It was definitely a right decision to organize said market in Istanbul where the heart of globally popular Turkish drama beats. We find it a tailored market where all potential clients assemble ».

Source : Sabah

« ATV sale hangs in the balance » – C21 media

« Low bids could scupper the sale of Turkish broadcaster ATV, media insiders in the country have warned, as Time Warner, News Corp and investment group Texas Pacific Group emerge as front-runners

An ATV source told C21 the station’s owner, Calik Holding, is thought to be seeking 12 to 15 times EBITDA for its ATV-Saba holdings, which includes the ATV channel, as well as newspaper and magazine assets.

With EBITDA at US$85m, this would result in an asking price of up to US$1.28bn. However, News Corp, Time Warner and TPG have so far tabled bids of up to around US$1bn for the Turkish asset, Reuters reported earlier this week.

“In my opinion, the bids that they submitted are below the expectations of the sellers. So I think there’s a chance that they might decide not to sell after all. They might just want to raise the value of their company for different reasons and see who’s interested,” said Endemol Turkey MD Ansi Elagoz.

Calik bought the ATV-Sabah holdings for US$1.1bn in 2007, though the firm is now understood to have hired Goldman Sachs to handle a sale.

An ATV source told C21 that the asset was definitely up for sale with initial bids entered last week. Negotiations could now run into the summer, the source said, though separate reports suggest the process may conclude by the end of the month.

RTL, which was also rumoured to be interested in buying the asset, is not thought to have tabled an offer.

News Corp already owns Turkish terrestrial channel Fox TV and in 2010 sold its Bulgarian TV business bTV to Central European Media Enterprises for US$400m. Time Warner and TPG were reported to have bid for Turkish conglomerate Dogan Holding’s Kanal D and Star TV assets last year, though neither reached an agreement.

IHS’s head of advertising research Daniel Knapp said that Turkey is attracting foreign interest as it, along with Russia, is a key growth market: “Recent years have shown that the Turkish TV market is an opportunity too good to miss. In 2010 the ad market grew by 40%. In 2011 we project it to grow by 22% in net terms, which is phenomenal. We don’t see this growth anywhere else.”

Yadigar Belbuken, deputy general manager and head programming at Fox International Channels Turkey, would not comment on News Corp’s apparent interest in ATV, but said: “There seems to be room to grow and I suspect there will be more international groups launching new channels or investing in the market, such as in ATV.” »

Source : C21 media

« Endemol Turkey launches drama unit » – C21 Media

« Endemol Turkey has set up a drama unit and has appointed an executive from one of the country’s biggest free-to-air broadcasters to head it.

Hulya Vural, who was head of drama at ATV and previously held the same post at Turkey’s Star network, started in the newly created head of drama role at Endemol Turkey in January.

The company now aims to launch a drama project in the next 12 months, as it aims to cash in on the country’s booming scripted market, Endemol Turkey MD Ansi Elagoz told C21.

“Turkish dramas are selling everywhere as ready-mades right now. Magnificent Century sold to over 60 countries as a ready-made, but our aim is not to only look for ready-mades but also formats,” said Elagoz, referring to the TIMS Productions-made Turkish hit.

“Endemol Italy, Endemol Spain, Endemol Netherlands, Endemol UK are very strong in drama, because the trend all around the world is tending towards it, so as a company we take it very seriously.

“Once you make a big hit, then you’re set for life with drama, whereas with formats, in the competitive markets, you have to work harder in my opinion to sell them and be successful.”

Endemol Turkey has previously experimented with local drama, adapting an Argentinian series called The Successful Mr and Mrs Pells for the local market.

Though this ran for only one season on Kanal D, Elagoz said the adaptation confirmed the need for Endemol Turkey to make a push into the local scripted space, “because that’s what drives the market.”

Endemol is responsible for dramas such as Hell on Wheels and Secret Diary of a Call Girl, which was recently picked up by Chilean public broadcaster TVN for a Latin American remake. However, the firm is best known for entertainment formats such as Big Brother, Total Wipeout, Deal or No Deal and Fear Factor. »

Source : C21 Media

« TPG, News Corp, Time Warner bid for Turkey’s Çalık media » – Today’s Zaman

Photo : Cihan. Source : Today's Zaman

« TPG Capital, News Corp and Time Warner have placed bids for the media assets of Turkey’s Çalık Holding, which also has interests in energy and finance, three sources close to the matter told Reuters on Monday.

« TPG, (News Corp’s Rupert) Murdoch and Time Warner placed bids. I know TPG is very aggressive, » said a source close to the deal, adding the submitted bids were around $1 billion, near the asking price.

He said the sale process could be completed in February.

Çalık bought ATV-Sabah for $1.1 billion in 2007 from the Savings, Deposits and Insurance Fund (TMSF). Çalık took on $750 million of bank debt in April 2008 to finance that acquisition. »

Source : Today’s Zaman

« Murdoch a contender to buy Atv-Sabah » – Sabah

« According to Wall Street Journal, News Corp may be joining the likes of Time Warner Inc. and TPG Capital to offer bids for Sabah-ATV.

Çalık Group and its advisors at Goldman Sachs were seeking preliminary bids on Wednesday; however the deadline to bid for Turkey’s second largest media conglomerate has now been pushed back to next week, allowing for News Corp to also be a contender.

The sale process for the Sabah-ATV media conglomerate run by young prominent business leader Serhat Albayrak , which includes the highly competitive newspaper and television station as well as a series of popular magazines, has already received interest from U.S. media giant Time Warner Inc. and private-equity firm TPG Capital. According to The Wall Street Journal, Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp will also be putting up a bid. Sources say Sabah-Atv is valued somewhere between $700 million and $1 billion. A bid from News Corp., which also owns The Wall Street Journal, could push the sales figure to the higher end of that range or above.

In 2008, Çalık Group, which also has interests in construction, energy, textiles, finance and telecommunications, acquired Sabah-Atv from the state for $1.25 billion. »

Source : Sabah

« Race for ATV-Sabah heats up as Murdoch joins in » – Sunday’s Zaman

« Friday’s report in The Wall Street Journal that Australian-American media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s giant News Corporation was mulling over acquiring Turkish Çalık Holding’s Sabah daily and ATV station will boost the competitors’ bids for the sale, observers argue.

Çalık recently announced he was putting Sabah and ATV on sale and that the US investment management firm Goldman Sachs was authorized for the sale. The WSJ quoted sources close to News Corp that the company last Wednesday demanded Goldman Sachs to extend the pre-proposal date for the sale, which gave Murdoch another week to come up with an offer. The WSJ also claimed the sale process has drawn interest from bidders including Time Warner Inc. and private equity firm TPG Capital. The offer could be between $700 million and $1 billion, and the presence of another bidder such as News Corp could increase the deal at the high end of that range or above, the WSJ report said.

This is not the first time Murdoch has voiced interest in the Turkish media market.

Murdoch and his partner Turkish-American music magnate Ahmet Ertegün’s Atlantic Records acquired Turkish Huzur Radyo TV AŞ. — the owner of TGRT TV — for $98 million in 2006. TGRT’s name was later changed to Fox TV and it continues operating under this name in Turkey. The mogul in 2007 shared plans with the Turkish government that he “seriously contemplated the acquisition of Sabah and ATV” when they were put on sale by the state’s Savings Deposit Insurance Fund (TMSF). Following confiscation by the TMSF from Turkish business tycoon Turgay Ciner’s Merkez Media Group in 2007, the Çalık Group acquired Sabah and ATV along with other smaller entities for $1.25 billion in 2008. In addition to top-rated entertainment station ATV and major daily Sabah, Çalık Group also currently owns smaller newspapers Takvim, Günaydın, Yeni Asır and Pas Fotomaç, radio station Radio City, 10 magazines and their properties, brand names and equipment. […] » »

Source : Sunday’s Zaman

« Murdoch’s News Corp. plans bid to buy Turkish media group » – Today’s Zaman

News Corporation CEO Rupert Murdoch holds a copy of The Sun and The Times as he is driven away from his flat in central London on July 11, 2011. (Photo: Reuters / Source : Sunday's Zaman)

« Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is considering a bid to buy one of Turkey’s biggest media groups, which owns the Sabah daily and popular TV station ATV, according to a report by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), one of the media outlets owned by News Corporation.

The Turkish group is currently owned by Çalık Holding, a business conglomerate run by Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s son-in-law.

Çalık and its advisors at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. sought preliminary bids Wednesday but have pushed back the deadline until next week, in part to accommodate News Corporation, WSJ reported Friday, quoting unnamed sources that it said were familiar with the issue.

The value of Sabah-ATV is estimated to be between $700 million and $1 billion, according to the WSJ report.

The WSJ said US media giant Time Warner Inc. and private-equity firm TPG Capital are also interested in Sabah-ATV.

News Corporation, which owns a number of media outlets — including the Daily Telegraph, New York Post and Fox Broadcasting Company — in many countries, also holds the majority share of popular television station Fox TV in Turkey. »

Source : Today’s Zaman

« Calik media sale to get airing in February » – Reuters

By Seda Sezer and Asli Kandemir

* Goldman Sachs hired for sale -sources
* Comes after Calik placed on watch list by Fitch
* No problems redeeming $200 mln bond -company official (Releads with media sale)

ISTANBUL, Jan 18 (Reuters) – Turkish group Calik Holding may complete the sale of media assets ATV and Sabah in February, sources told Reuters on Wednesday.

Earlier in the day, a Calik official insisted the group would have no problem redeeming a maturing $200 million unsecured note after Fitch Ratings placed the company on a watch list due to refinancing concerns.

Calik hired Goldman Sachs this month to steer the sale of ATV and Sabah, according to sources close to the matter, who added the initial bidding round will close on January 18.

Private equity funds including TPG Capital and KKR & Co, along with Time Warner and RTL Group — Europe’s biggest commercial broadcaster — are among interested bidders, the sources said.

« Calik Group does not have a financing problem. It will make a strategic decision on whether to exit media. I do not think the process would take too long because Goldman Sachs studied the media sector very well and Calik is only talking to a very few investors, » a source close to the deal told Reuters.

« Bids will be collected until the beginning of February and the sale may finalise in February, » the same source said. Another source close to the matter also confirmed bids will be collected until February.

Goldman Sachs was last year mandated for the sale of assets of Turkey’s biggest media group, Dogan Yayin, and was hired for the separate process of selling its flagship Hurriyet newspaper.

The interested bidders for Calik assets were also on the shortlist for Dogan Yayin assets, but that sale did not happen.

Credit rating agency Fitch said on Tuesday it had placed the $200 million, five-year bond issued by Globus Capital Finance and guaranteed by Calik, on rating watch negative.

« There is no problem with the redemption. We will make the redemption, » a Calik Holding official told Reuters on Wednesday.

The redemption by Calik, which also has interests in energy and finance, is due on March 5.

The 8.5 percent bond has been falling in recent weeks, and was trading at a yield of almost 25 percent on Wednesday.

« Fitch assumes that Calik will need to get additional bank lines or external funding to meet the maturity which, to Fitch’s knowledge, have yet to be put in place, » the agency said.

It added the Sabah and ATV media assets were thinly capitalised, considering the competitive market they were in and the current and projected working capital needs.

Calik took on $750 million of bank debt in April 2008 to finance that acquisition. (Editing by David Hulmes)

Source : Reuters

« Çalık Group’s TV channels up for sale  » – Hürriyet Daily News

« TPG Capital, KKR & Co LP and Time Warner are in talks to buy media assets from Turkey’s Çalık Holding, which include Sabah newspaper and ATV television, four people familiar with the situation said, according to Bloomberg News.

Two sources said Germany’s RTL was also interested in such an acquisition, Reuters reported, adding that the initial offers will be collected through Jan. 18. “The price [Çalık] demands is nearly 15-fold of the earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization, which is really high,” one source said.

Çalık Holding hired Goldman Sachs Group to advise on the sale, said sources, who declined to be identified because the talks are private, Bloomerg reported.

Gavin Davis, a spokesman for TPG at public relations agency Pelham Bell Pottinger, did not return calls seeking comment. Turkuvaz Media Group, Çalık’s unit that owns daily Sabah and ATV channels, did not reply to emailed questions. Also, KKR did not answer emailed questions.

Time Warner’s chief in Turkey, Efe Onbilgin, did not respond to calls to his cell phone seeking comment. k HDN »

Source : Hürriyet Daily News