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Turkey’s TRT to launch international streamer with 30-plus originals a year

TRT’s thriller The Shadow Team

MIPTV: Turkish public broadcaster TRT is gearing up to launch its own international streaming service in markets including Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, with a large number of exclusive dramas in tow.

Mustafa Ilbeyli, head of advertising and sales at TRT, told C21 the service will launch Lat Am, the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), parts of Europe, India and Pakistan this year.

The VoD service, which is yet to be named, will operate a hybrid business model, meaning it will offer both ad-supported and paid-for tiers and will launch with 20 to 30 new shows made exclusively for the platform, Ilbeyli said.

These will then be supplemented by “at least 30 to 40 new exclusives for VoD” every year thereafter, Ilbeyli added.

The series will feature episodes 40 to 50 minutes long – much shorter than traditional Turkish dramas, which can run upwards of 120 minutes per episode and are edited into multiple episodes for international distribution.

The service, which will also launch in Turkey this year, will feature a mix of dramas, documentaries, kids’ content and movies. TRT is behind series such as contemporary thriller The Shadow Team as well as a host of historical dramas.

Turkey is famous for its telenovelas, which have been sold to broadcasters around the world and have become one of the country’s most profitable exports over the past decade.

The latest Turkish drama to go global is Golden Boy, which has been sold into yet more international territories, distributor Eccho Rights announced here in Cannes.

The series, produced by Istanbul-based OGM Pictures for Turkish channel Star TV, is a classic family drama that tells the story of two sisters who fall in love with the same boy.

TRT’s decision to go direct-to-consumer with its own streamer will see it take on the likes of Netflix in international markets as well as potentially disrupt its model of selling its drama series to local broadcasters in key markets such as Latin America and MENA.

TRT is part of a large Turkish presence at MipTV, with Acun Medya, Calinos Entertainment, Global Agency, Inter Medya, Mistco, Kanal D International and Madd Entertainment also here, plus the Istanbul Chamber of Commerce.

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