FremantleMedia International (FMI) and Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland (MG RTL D), parent company of VOX and Germany’s largest private free-to-air broadcaster, RTL Television, have struck a deal giving FMI international distribution rights to MG RTL D’s extensive library of finished programming, as well as rights future MG RTL D commissions and show formats.
Under the terms of the deal, FMI will become the exclusive global distributor (ex-German language territories) for all Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s original programming dating back to 2000. This includes several hundred hours of content from Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland channels, including all seasons of the network’s long-running hit Alarm für Cobra 11 – Die Autobahnpolizei (Alarm for Cobra 11 – The Highway Police).
With 21 seasons and over 300 episodes already aired, the high-octane drama is delivering record ratings to RTL Television and the network has already committed to future series. Also included in the deal is Der Lehrer (The Teacher), which tells the story of a German science and PE teacher who uses unconventional methods to motivate and educate the most problematic students in the school. The German TV award winning drama has also secured further season commissions for the network after delivering great ratings over its last four seasons. FMI will be launching new seasons of Cobra and Der Lehrer at MIPTV in April and along with the rest of the Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland catalogue.
Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland has invested heavily in its original content development recently, significantly increasing the number of hours in production, and FMI will take these future titles out to international buyers as a result of the deal. Included in the partnership are also a number of show format rights, which FremantleMedia will look to exploit through its global network of production offices.
Jörg Graf, COO Programme Affairs said, “First of all, I would like to say a big thank you to our long-term international distribution partner Global Screen for our trustful and successful collaboration. But now I am equally delighted that we are bundling our international programme distribution activities within RTL Group’s FremantleMedia International. In relation to Mediengruppe RTL Deutschland’s strategy of producing more original content, the shift to FMI, one of the largest distribution companies, is the next logical step. With a worldwide network, FMI can exploit our content potential to its maximum and we can create more synergies within RTL Group.”