THE MONTH OF ECCHO RIGHTS: Interview with MD Fredrik af Malmborg
April is the MONTH OF ECCHO RIGHTS here at CEETV, TVBIZZ, TVBIZZ Magazine and streaming platform PITCH&PLAY at pitchplay.tv/ecchomonth. Eccho Rights MD Fredrik af Malmborg tells Yako Molhov why April is a special month for the company and also comments on how the distributor has been able to adjust to the coronavirus crisis and continues to successfully expand its activities and grow the international reach of its catalog.
Fredrik, first of all, tell us why is this The Month of Eccho Rights? What news and surprises are you bringing to our readers?
We are very proud to launch our new series Chrysalis from OGM Pictures in Istanbul. We believe it is the best-looking Turkish drama that we have ever seen, and it premieres the first week in April. Very strong story and amazing production. In total, Eccho is representing 15 drama series that are neither new or returning this spring, including 6 series currently in production in Turkey, 4 from the Nordics as well as our first series from Greece, 8 Words from Skai TV. We have of course also a very strong lineup from Korea including new series from CJ ENM.
What are Eccho Rights' latest hits and what are your bestsellers in the different territories?
The success of Turkish drama in Spain is the most recent strong point of our series and we are also excited about the increasing acquisition interest from global platforms, especially in Latin America. On the rest of the world, the series The Red Room from OGM Pictures are premiering early April both on SVT in Sweden and SABC in South Africa. This series represent a new wave of Turkish drama based on real life stories.
Have you seen changes in what broadcasters and streaming services are looking to acquire?
As so many main productions from the US and UK are on hold, we see a very strong growth in non-English language drama. Many platforms and broadcasters are now doing what they should have done years ago, try new source countries, and they will, in the same way as Netflix, see that they actually can work better than their traditional source countries.
How is the COVID-19 crisis affecting your business and relations with clients?
We are working very intensively to listen to the needs of our clients and to maintain the relationship. Most clients are as bored as we are, working from home with a very limited social life. As a fun thing, we created the board game Ecchopoly and sent out to our clients some months ago. It was a real working Monopoly game with the streets replaced by the best TV series and the question cards fun gags from our industry. We all need something fun to do those days.
What is your strategy for 2021 and what adjustments did you make in ‘the new normality’?
We are representing over 30 hours in production per week excluding our Korean output, so our production is strong. We see a growing demand and are very grateful to all the producers who so courageously have been carrying on throughout this crisis.
Are you planning new partnerships to grow your catalog? What new opportunities do you see on the market?
Right now, we see a number of really good series from Russia and the Nordic dramas are strong as ever. But probably the most vibrant source country right now is Korea from where we have a great tradition representing scripted formats and now increasingly selling readymade drama as well.
You represent content from all over the world, with many productions being postponed due to the coronavirus outbreak. How are you dealing with the uncertainty over the production side of the business?
We are okay production wise, our main source countries Turkey, Korea and the Nordics are relatively stable when it comes to ongoing production.
Are you looking forward to MIPCOM?
Yes, it will be the best feeling ever to come back to Cannes (smiles).