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Points of contact, points of distance: DR/TV 2 meet HBO/Netflix

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Danish public service broadcasters have taken long strides into the international marketplace at the level of funding, production and distribution of TV drama series. The series are sold across the globe, remade in countries as different as the United States and Turkey, and the international co-production set-ups are becoming increasingly complex (e.g. Broen/The Bridge [SVT/DR, 2013–] and The Team [ZDF/vtm/DR, etc. 2015]). This article tests the limits of cross-national collaboration by discussing two recent co-production initiatives that involve DR/HBO and TV 2/Netflix. The co-production initiatives discussed are located at the intersection of at least three strands of development: first, the commercialization of European public service media that can be traced back to regulatory changes in the 1980s; second, the tendency towards cross-national partnerships regarding television funding, production and/or distribution; and third, the advent of streaming services available on various digital platforms. The article highlights tension and obstacles prohibiting or undermining these two co-production initiatives. In the case of DR/HBO, the obstacles have their source in alternative media systemic logics and differing narrative and aesthetic strategies, whereas competition and business development strategies are particularly pertinent to the case of TV 2 and Netflix.
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Keywords: DR; HBO; Netflix; TV 2; co-production; production analysis; public service; streaming

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Aarhus University

Publication date: June 1, 2016

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  • Northern Lights: Film and Media Studies Yearbook was first published in 2002 and places particular emphasis on film, television and new media. The yearbook, although carrying a theme each issue, welcomes a broad range of articles along with shorter review pieces.
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