Netflix to expand presence in Europe; chooses Madrid for production hub

Netflix to expand presence in Europe; chooses Madrid for production hub
Erik Barmack
Published: 29 July 2018 - 12:08 p.m.
By: Pranav Vadehra

Netflix has made a big statement of intent about expanding its presence in Europe with the news that it has chosen Madrid as the location of its first European production hub.

The streaming video giant last week announced the new operation at Ciudad de la Tele, a new 72,000-square-foot complex in Tres Cantos, in northern Madrid. The production hub will be the focal point for Netflix’s rapidly expanding slate of Spanish-language original productions.

The news follows Netflix's announcement in April of a $1bn investment on European original content. Spain has become an important market for Netflix, which is the home of such series as “Paquita Salas,” “Las Chicas del Cable” and “La Casa de Papel (Money Heist),” the latter of which Netflix has become its most-watched non-English-language production so far. Money Heist creator Álex Pina recently signed a multi-year production deal with Netflix.

More than 13,000 cast, group, and extras will be employed this year on 20 Netflix original productions to be produced in Spain. The creation hub is being produced and managed by Grupo Secuoya. A Netflix spokesman said the company will set up production hubs in foreign territories where it has a critical mass of production and where there is a high availability of talent. The SVOD service has been investing in production space in recent years, as it expands its production of original content.

Netflix is pouring resources into Spanish language content as a battle emerges between the global streaming giant and Telefonica in the Spanish-speaking world. Spanish pay-tv leader Telefonica has previously stated its ambition to become the leading producer of Spanish language content with a push into original series creation and content ownership including premium soccer rights.

Erik Barmack, Vice President of International Originals at Netflix, stated,“Spain has a rich heritage of innovative, immersive content creation and we are excited to strengthen our investment in the cultural heartland of Madrid. From San Sebastián to Santiago de Chile and Toronto to Tokyo, Spanish-language content is savoured by Netflix members across the world. The establishment of our first European production hub will create new opportunities for Spain’s incredible creative talent, as well as demonstrating our commitment to the production of original content throughout Europe.”

Raúl Berdonés, President, Grupo Secuoya, included, “We are delighted that Netflix has chosen Ciudad de la Tele as the location of its first European production hub. Netflix sets a world-class standard in its production process and the decision to create a production hub in Madrid is proof of Spain’s leadership in the audiovisual industry, as well as the depth of its talent pool. Grupo Secuoya is delighted to partner with Netflix to support the production of Spanish-language series for the world.”

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