In a further sign of the times for an industry fuelled by ceaseless diversification and expansion, Spanish broadband and telecommunications provider Telefónica has launched Telefónica Studios, pooling all of its production units and sending out a clear message that it intends to become “a significant TV and film producer.”
This has not exactly arrived out of the blue: Telefónica has co-produced 25 films in Argentina (where its production arm is Telefe) and Spain over the last five years – a figure it will now look to equal in three.
Ironically, its initial engagement with film production in both countries was the result of respective regulatory obligations, though it subsequently attained astonishing success for these compelled investments, particularly this year, with four Telefe productions – “Thesis on a Homicide,” “Corazon de Leon,” “Foosball” and 7th Floor” — having topped the Argentine charts.
Now it is even considering further co-production investment in countries where it owns pay TV networks, such as Brazil, Chile, Venezuela, and Peru.
TV production will be focussed on paid-for high-end drama for the Movistar pay TV and Movistar Play on-demand services, while upcoming movies set to receive Telefónica investment include Szifron’s “Relatos salvajes, and “Tadeo Jones 2”.