4 APR 2022

Fred Burcksen: “Our new name fits with our business model”

The President and CEO of ZDF Studios describes the concept behind the company's new name and clarifies how this new brand comes with different positioning and production objectives.

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Fred Burcksen

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ZDF Enterprises has rebranded as ZDF Studios, as it was announced last February by Fred Burcksen, its President and CEO. The company was founded in 1993 to distribute and purchase content for ZDF. Together with its subsidiaries and affiliates, ZDF Enterprises is responsible for national and international media productions, from initial concept and development to production and marketing, offering its services to public and private television broadcasters, independent producers, streaming platforms, and other customers and partners.

“It is important for us and for our shareholder ZDF to express exactly what we are today. On the one hand, we are a large licensing company selling, co-producing, and buying rights. On the other hand, we are a major production group, a studio responsible for national and international productions,”  Fred Burcksen stated.

Since it was established, ZDF Enterprises has significantly expanded ZDF Group. With creativity, originality, and efficiency, the company has become a significant player in the fiction and non-fiction arena. The new name, ZDF Studios, indicates a new era as a media industry company. “The new name fits our business model much better and reflects our production and marketing expertise. Under the new brand ZDF Studios we’ll be able to bring our network of affiliated companies even closer together. With consolidated sales of around €240 million, we’re one of the largest rights distributors in Europe,”  Burcksen added.

Under the new name, ZDF Studios will launch various fresh-to-the-market titles at MIPTV covering drama, wildlife, natural history, documentaries, and kids. In addition to this, the drama series “Dear Vivi” is part of the official selection of MIPDrama 2022. Moreover, the wildlife documentary “The Margay and Me” is one of the six finalists from 111 submissions from 79 companies in 27 different countries for the MIPDoc Project Pitch.

“The past 12 months have been very productive for us as a studio and for our partners. Our diverse range of entertaining titles have links to several countries, giving them an international appeal. Production teams have been busy filming in locations such as Canada, Spain, Belgium, France, Germany, and throughout the beautiful continent of Africa, delivering first-class content that we are proud to represent at MIPTV,”  Burcksen described.

ZDF Studios’ first slate kicks off with a variety of new dramas. Chicho Ibáñez Serrador’s “Stories to Stay Awake” is one of them, with the legendary horror series that revolutionized Spain’s TV in the 60s. The show was produced by Prointel, Isla Audiovisual, and Paramount for Spanish Broadcaster RTVE. Moreover, ZDF will showcase “White Night,” produced by Pixcom for Radio Canada. Set in the 1970s and the modern-day, the title is an emotional family saga interwoven with a murder mystery as two sisters and their brother struggle to cope with an imbalance of power wielded by a person who is no longer alive.

“ZDF Studios today if conformed by around 30 subsidiaries and affiliated companies. Our partners are public and private television broadcasters, independent producers, streaming platforms, and many others. Teamed up with our network and shareholder ZDF we are today one of the largest media groups in Europe,”  Burcksen stated. “We cordially invite everybody with good ideas to talk to us ZDF Studios or our production companies about any creative projects and developments and how to finance and make them possible,”  he added.

By Diego Alfagemez