Eight northern European public broadcasters have come together to jointly commission high-end dramas and share their scripted series with one another, while also selling internationally.
The new collaboration, New8, is partnered by ZDF (Germany), NPO (The Netherlands), VRT (Belgium), SVT (Sweden), DR (Denmark), YLE (Finland), RÚV (Iceland) and NRK (Norway). Their immediate goal is co-producing eight TV series annually from this year and ensuring broad distribution of projects.
The New8 pact, unveiled at the MIA – Mercato Internazionale Audiovisivo 2023 market, will see the pubcasters work together on scripted dramas as they face increasing competition in the European TV market from U.S. streamers like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video.
“New8 will strengthen the public service broadcasters throughout Europe and give their audiences a unique access to bold, modern and innovative high-end drama from all the partners. With ZDF on board, New8 gains one of the most experienced international co-production partners for its network,” Simone Emmelius, senior vp of international fiction at Germany’s ZDF, said in a statement on Tuesday.
The New8 partnership, to run initially for three years, will see its first collaborative series greenlit this year and rolled out in 2024. The future series will broadly run in German speaking territories like Germany, Austria, and Switzerland; Flemish-speaking territories in The Netherlands and Belgiuml; and across Nordic TV markets in Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Iceland and Norway.
The partners have entered into an agreement that will initially last for three years. The first series will be greenlit in 2023 and available for publication in all participating territories from 2024.
New8 expands on an existing Nordic pubcasters collaboration that has seen an exchange of dramas like NRK’s Exit, set in Norway’s financial markets, and the Swedish police procedural drama The Thin Blue Line. Both dramas have had wide global audience success outside of the Nordic region.
“The Nordic public-service companies have a long history of successful collaborations and in these turbulent times we want to take this way of working to the next level. At SVT we are incredibly happy to join forces with such powerful partners as ZDF, VRT and NPO to be able to offer our audience even more high-end drama,” Anna Croneman, head of drama at SVT, added in her own statement.