What International Buyers Look for in Content

Many platforms and channels around the world are constantly looking for content to acquire.

Some prefer content that caters to a niche audience while some aim at acquiring content that's more popular and general in nature.


A number of content acquisition heads of region-specific, as well as mainstream channels, share what kind of content they look to acquire and what catches their attention, while also shedding light on what kind of sales pitches impresses (and eventually persuades) them the most.



Sven Van lokeren, Buyer Fiction Series at VRT, Belgium:


What type of projects/programs are you looking for?


A wide variety of shows, from more broad UK crime series to high-end, edgy thrillers and must-see international content with high talk-value. Any in-built marketability that a drama can offer, a well-known cast, high caliber writing talent, etc. is going to increase its appeal for us.


What kinds of sales pitches do you respond best to?


Combination of basic info (format, volume, availability, producers, commissioning broadcaster, etc) with short pitch plus main storyline and trailer.


Janaina Tadeu, Head Of Acquisitions And Coproductions at Arte1, Brazil:


What is your editorial strategy?


The Arte1 channel offers 24 hours of programming completely dedicated to the art universe. Our mission is to contribute to the development of an audience interested in knowing more about visual arts, photography, architecture, design, dance, classical music, fashion design, literature, theater, and art cinema. In our programming grid, the audience can find documentaries, series, movies, and performing arts.


What type of projects/programs are you looking for?


We are looking for sophisticated productions. Our main request is that all the themes of the programs need to be related to art topics. We have slots for documentaries (one-off)/ docu-series with episodes of 26’ or 52’/ concerts from classical to modern music/ballet performances from classical to contemporary style / awarded and independent art movies.


For this year, we are focused on acquiring documentaries from all the main arts subjects.


Jenna Bourdeau, Senior Director, Acquisitions at CBC, Canada:


What is your editorial strategy?


As Canada’s national public broadcaster, CBC offers a wide array of content to audiences via linear and digital platforms in nearly every genre - kids, news, sports, documentary, unscripted and scripted. CBC’s schedule is anchored by award-winning, critically acclaimed original Canadian dramas and comedies (Schitt’s Creek, Coroner, Workin’ Moms). In terms of acquired content, we look for leading scripted programming (drama and comedy) that can hold its own alongside such premium originals. The current growth area for acquisition opportunities is currently for our streaming service CBC Gem, which offers Canadians a free and subscription option to streaming service which offers an array of domestic and international content.


Our focus for Gem acquisitions includes high-impact content of all genres specifically drama, comedy, unscripted, documentary, preferably catering to 40 yr and under demographic.


What type of projects/programs are you looking for?


Scripted Genres: Drama, Crime, Comedy, Thriller, Sci-Fi, Holiday MOW, Theatrical Family Features, Younger skewing across all genres


Feature Films: Theatrically released family features, Theatrical holiday features; High Profile Documentary Feature Films


Unscripted: High Profile lifestyle series and specials


What kinds of sales pitches do you respond best to?


A detailed email works very well.


Vicky Schroderus, Executive In Charge Of International Co-Productions & Acquisitions of Children’s Programs at YLE, Finland:


What is your editorial strategy?


When measured by ratings and audience satisfaction YLE is the number one multi-platform destination for Finnish Kids. It transmits annually over 1300 hours of children’s programming for a two- to 12-year-old audience on linear tv, FVOD service YLE Areena and YLE’s add-free YouTube Channels. Pikku Kakkonen -magazine show is one of the biggest brands at YLE. Its


focus is the 3-7 years olds. YLE’s FVOD service Areena gets about 4 Mio oup every week on linear television. For the 7-12 y old kids YLE has an interactive brand named Galaxi. It reaches about 10% of its target group every week on linear tv. Galaxi universe can be found on www.yle.fi/galaxi. Buu- Klubben is aired by the Swedish-speaking channel YLE Fem. Its main


focus is the 3-7 years olds. YLE’s FVOD service Areena gets about 4 Mio starts on kids programming per week (population of Finland is 5,4 Mio).


What type of projects/programs are you looking for?


I am looking for content that will enhance YLE’s offering for kids. The shows need to entertain, bring laughter and awoke curiosity. For preschoolers the top priorities are diversity, bravery as well as enhancing emotional and social skills. For school kids we are also looking for themes like mental health and coping with difficult topics as poverty, loneliness and bullying.


What kinds of sales pitches do you respond best to?


Short description or bible of the project with main characters and location(s). Example stories are a must. An animation sample or mood pictures, if live-action, is definitely a big plus.


Caroline Behar, Head Of Documentaries, France 5 / Head Of Acquisitions & International Coproductions at France Televisions, France:


What is your editorial strategy?


Documentaries with strong content and storytelling.


What type of projects/programs are you looking for?


Only documentaries for both daytime and primetime slots.


What kinds of sales pitches do you respond best to?


The ones from those who know France 5’s editorial line. Nowadays, we favour science, space, archaeology and ancient civilization programmes.


What are you looking for when working on coproduction projects?


In copro, we look for big and ambitious projects, mostly suitable for prime time audiences. With a dramatic storytelling but with credibility and integrity. Of course, very strong visual treatment is very important for us.


Lei Jing, General Manager at Golden-Spread Entertainments Co. Ltd., China:


What is your editorial strategy?


Acquire foreign films and TV series and sell to Chinese clients.


What type of projects/programs are you looking for?


Action/Adventure/Animated Feature Film, Wild/Nature Documentary, TV series.


What kinds of sales pitches do you respond best to?


E-mail, sales catalogue.


Henry Leu, President at Henry Advertising & Marketing Ltd, Hong Kong:


What is your editorial strategy?


Buying programmes internationally for China Central Television.


What type of projects/programs are you looking for?


Documentaries, Movies, Music, Animation feature films


What kinds of sales pitches do you respond best to?


Documentaries (Wildlife and Nature), Movies and Music (classical music).


Dermot Horan, Director Of Acquisitions And Co-Productions at RTE, Ireland:


What is your editorial strategy?


Public Service Media organization which commissions and acquires across all key genres - drama, comedy, documentaries, natural history, and children’s programming.


What type of projects/programs are you looking for?


Drama, comedy, feature films, children’s animation, and live-action, natural history. Both to acquire and co-produce.


Siobha´n Ni bhra´daigh, Young People’s Editor at TG4, Ireland: