In the fall of 1996, more than 25 years ago, Antena 3 Internacional, a pioneer among Spanish private channels in the search for a foreign market, began broadcasting in Mexico.
The launch of the channel laid the foundations for what is today Atresmedia Internacional, the Atresmedia Group’s umbrella dedicated to the production and distribution of channels for international pay TV operators.
Its objective was to make the group’s production known in a market with great cultural and linguistic affinities, which until then had only been explored by public television.
“We feel like a bit of a pioneer. Twenty-five years ago, nothing was known about the pay TV industry outside Spain, especially in the Spanish-speaking countries we were targeting at that time, which are still our main market,” explains Mar Martínez-Raposo, director of Atresmedia Internacional.
Following the launch of Antena 3 Internacional, Atresmedia Internacional’s offering gradually grew to become one of the most attractive packages of independent content in the international pay TV market.
In 2013 came the Hola TV! channel, created together with Hola! magazine and dedicated to celebrities and lifestyle, with exclusive content produced in Miami.
Then it was the turn of Atreseries Internacional (2014), which broadcasts the group’s fiction production, and Atrescine (2018), the result of an agreement with Video Mercury Films, the main owner of Spanish film rights.
With the growing offer, Atresmedia Internacional increased its penetration in Spanish-speaking markets. As revenues increased, so did its importance within the group.
Last year, the family of channels reached 57 million subscribers, adding three million subscribers—a 5% increase—to the previous year’s figure. Subscriptions were mainly distributed among Latin American markets (63%), Mexico (24%), and the United States (12%).
“We became a spearhead for both Atresmedia and the Spanish audiovisual industry,” says Martínez-Raposo.
The popularization of fiction
The international version of Atreseries was born as a window for Atresmedia productions, which had won the audience’s favor in Spanish primetime and were already contributing significantly to the popularization of fiction abroad.
Titles such as “Gran Hotel,” “El barco,” “El Internado,” “Fariña,” and “Velvet” prepared the market for the subsequent irruption of global hits such as “La Casa de Papel.”
“With Atreseries, we anticipated what was going to be the great hatching of Spanish fiction. Then came Atrescine, because we think that cinema is still one of the great contents of pay TV in the Spanish-speaking markets,” he says.
“Film and series channels have contributed to the growing familiarity of Latino audiences with content made in Spain, which is then easier to market.”
Atresplayer SVOD platform
Atresmedia Internacional's offering also includes Atresplayer Premium, the group’s SVOD platform, which has more than 427,000 paying subscribers—most of them in Spain—attracted largely by the premiere of fiction productions that have generated great international interest such as “Veneno” or “Cardo” and whose most recent offerings include “La edad de la ira.”
Available internationally through both the B2C and B2B business models, Atresplayer Premium has been part of Claro Vídeo’s offering in Mexico for more than a year, and agreements are being finalized for its integration into the ecosystem of other pay TV operators.
Internationally, 60% of its users come from the United States and Latin America. The number of subscribers abroad grew by 28% last year.
Non-reliance on advertising
Atresmedia Internacional is part of Atresmedia Diversificación, the division of Atresmedia dedicated to activities and businesses not dependent on advertising, which in such a changing television landscape has significantly increased its weight in the group’s accounts.
“Audiovisual production is very expensive, and we exist because that production is already done. We are giving it a second life.”