Beta Film, Deutsche Telekom Launch European Series Partnership

Beta Film
'Cacciatore - The Hunter'

The telecom giant will take a package of Beta series — including Italy's 'The Hunter' and Spain's 'Cocaine Coast' — for its new SVOD service Magenta TV in Germany.

German producer and sales group Beta Film has signed a long-term deal with cable giant Deutsche Telekom to supply high-end European series to Telekom's German streaming service Magenta TV.

The agreement, announced Monday, will include award-winning dramas such as Cacciatore – the Hunter, about Italy's war on the mafia in the 1990s, HBO Europe's Czech-language series Wasteland and Spanish crime drama Cocaine Coast.

"Deutsche Telekom has realized European high-end series to be an essential part of a successful platform strategy," said Beta Film’s managing director Moritz von Kruedener. "Often, these programs connect more with the viewer than American series do, in a sense that they hit closer to home."

Telekom launched its Magenta TV SVOD service last year, combining it with an over-the-top offering of cable channels and catch-up services in a bid to compete with Netflix and other streaming offerings in the territory. The lowest-cost version of Magenta TV offers subscribers around 75 channels for around $9 per month.

In recent years, pay TV providers, such as Telekom, Britain's BT and Telefonica in Spain, have been investing heavily in acquiring and producing original local content, in part driven by a move by the likes of Netflix and Amazon to greenlight local series, from Netflix's The Crown and Cable Girls, in the U.K. and Spain, respectively, to Amazon's German crime drama You Are Wanted.

The Beta-Telekom deal also illustrates the growing pay TV and SVOD market for high-end international (i.e., non-English language) series. Cocaine Coast, produced by bambu for Spanish commercial TV group Atresmedia, screens on Netflix internationally. Wasteland is an HBO original that airs on HBO Europe's outlets across its continental footprint. Cacciatore –the Hunter originally debuted, to record ratings, on Italian free-TV network RAI.