18 APR 2024

Telewizja Polska revamps its universal production pipeline

The Polish public broadcaster is an active producer and a prolific distributor of original content that spreads Poland culture worldwide. Urszula Suszko, Chief Sales Executive Of International Sales, highlights the content strategy for its linear and digital platforms.

18 APR 2024

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Telewizja Polska (TVP) owns 23 channels and a global VOD platform and has actively started this year with new productions and acquisitions to its portfolio. "Currently, linear TV is still highly popular in Poland. However, we have also noticed a substantial growth in subscribers to our global VOD platform. vol.pl," described Urszula Suszko, Chief Sales Executive of International Sales at TVP, in an exclusive interview with Señal News. "Our offer is universal; we offer viewers both traditional channels and our expanding and modern platform. TVP has started making some of the programs to be available in the digital-first model," she added.

In January, the Polish public broadcaster premiered its new thriller, "The Bay of Spies," on TVP1. An average of 2.10 million viewers watched the first episode shown on Sunday, 7th January, and its first three episodes were watched on average by almost 1.8 million people. "We believe our espionage thriller with main character Franz Naumann entangled in a web of intrigue, who uses his charm and charisma to captivate women and manipulate men, will also attract viewers worldwide," said Suszko. "'The Bay of Spies' series is our highlight for the beginning of this year, and after such a great performance on TVP, our expectations for international sales are also very high," she added.

The espionage thriller was part of the TVP line-up at the European Film Market 2024 and headed the company's slate for MIPTV, along with the romantic bittersweet comedy film "The Love Buzz" about two middle-aged women. The title had a theatrical premiere in Poland on 9th February and afterward in other European countries, including the UK, Ireland, Iceland, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg, Denmark, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, and Greece. "Our aim for MIPTV is to seek further distribution windows for the title," expressed Suszko.

TVP portfolio also includes a costume drama series, "Matylda," about a young rebel, the daughter of a participant in the 19th century January Uprising in Poland. The series shows the characters' emotional dilemmas, which are intertwined with breakthrough moments in the history of Poland after the January Uprising. "There's a universal message in the film that can be applied to the current international situation about fighting injustice, maintaining honor, and the most precious value, love," Suszko described. Viewers get to know the main character, Matylda Bilinska, whose extraordinary adventures take place against the background of political repression, the Russian partition that deprives her of identity, and the beginning of women's emancipation. "It's a high-budget production planned to air at prime time on Sunday evenings and will certainly attract many viewers," she said.

TVP has also produced a six-episode comedy-drama series called "We Shall Live Together," which focuses on Poland's solidarity after the Ukraine war broke out. "It's the first drama series in Poland, we believe, produced internationally that focuses on this theme," commented Suszko. "We also have a proposal of new drama titles such as 'Shattered Games' that explores Poland's history and influence in the game of chess at the beginning of the 20th century, and 'Loonies,' about a pair of thieves whom we meet the day they get out of prison," she completed. In addition, documentary films have been one of the landmarks of TVP for years. Thus, its slate for MIPTV will also include new titles, such as "Just Hear Me Out," "The Imperishable Man," "When the Wind Becomes Silent," the documentary series "Surgeons" and the current affairs documentary "Russian Accent in Israel."

TVP develops and produces its original content. At the moment, it is in the post-production stage of the new crime series, "Profiler," about a renowned police profiler who also faces her own trauma: as a child, she witnessed her mother's murder. The company is also producing another historical film about one of the greatest Polish poets, Adam Mickiewicz. "It is a romance called 'Uncertainty' (working title), planned to be theatrically released by the end of 2024. It will also have a series, planned to be aired next year, titled 'Uncertainty.: Mickiewicz in Love' (working title)," Suszko anticipated. "Uncertainty" is the story of a fiery romance developing in the fairy-tale setting of a noble estate, which inspired the creation of Mickiewicz's famous collection of 'Ballads and Romances.' TVP, through costume dramas, fulfills its mission and offers attractive programs with very high educational values," she added.

By Romina Rodríguez