Market Intelligence – European operators’ original content ambitions face hurdles

Last month, Germany’s Deutsche Telekom AG ordered its first original series, called “Germanized,” for its streaming platform EntertainTV, while Movistar Plus, the pay TV arm of Spanish telco giant Telefónica SA, plans to spend €100 million on as many as 10 series each year. Meanwhile, French carrier Orange SA will spend about €100 million on developing its own series during the next five years.

However, for the most part, operators’ smaller budgets, relative to the likes of Netflix Inc. and Inc., as well as global studios and broadcasters, mean they do not have the “luxury to fail in a production or two,” according to Per Stenström, director at telecom consultancy Northstream.

Stenström is not convinced operators’ original content efforts will have a major impact.

“This is something that national broadcasters have been doing ever since TV was invented. I do not think operators will tip the scale significantly,” he said in an interview, stressing that “if [operators] want to compete in producing high-quality original content, they need to scale that investment. The competition they are up against are doing exactly that.”

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