Mondo TV S.p.a. is an Italian company that has been producing cartoons for kids for over thirty years. This year it launched its first live action project in Italy, “Heidi Bienvenida”, a TV series with international scope from the subsidiary Mondo TV Iberoamerica by the Argentinian writer Marcela Citterio and Javier Francia of Alianzas Producciones.
The second season (Heidi, Bienvenida al Show) has already been produced and the third is being planned.
Matteo Corradi, CEO of the Gruppo Mondo TV, tells us about the new features on the horizon and the company’s development plan, starting with this new title.
“Heidi Bienvenida” is the very first live action series realized in the history of Gruppo Mondo TV, an exciting project of which we are very proud. The first season was a huge success in Latin America: after being launched on Nickelodeon it reached screens all over the region, with sales in Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru, Bolivia, Costa Rica, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic, amongst others.
It has also made its entrance on EMEA markets with sales in Russia and Israel, as well as on the Pay TV channel DSTV Kids in Portuguese Africa.
“Heidi, Bienvenida a Casa” has been broadcast in Italy since April 30th on Rai Gulp, a very important name in kids’ programming, with excellent viewing figures – well above average!
We are involved in selling licenses and providing all the marketing support the series needs on this market which is very important because it represents the gateway to Europe.
The most recent and significant agreement is the one stipulated with Sony Music Entertainment Italia for the launch of the CD of songs from the series.
Penguin Random House Grupo Editorial is dedicated to the production of books for the Latin American market whilst in Italy the publishing category has been assigned to Mondadori which launched the first two titles based on the series on June 26th.
Panini has signed a worldwide agreement for newsstand products; the publication of the first sticker album together with the magazine will coincide with the back to school period.
Edizioni Play- press is developing another type of product – an original format for Italy – which will also be available from newsstands.
Last but no less important are the licensing agreements with Walcor, one of the leading companies in Italy in the food and confectionary sector, for the manufacture and marketing of various products for Christmas and Easter and with Echo s.r.l. for Heidi Bienvenidathemed events in shopping malls.
All in all, it is a very successful TV series with enormous potential supported by a solid licensing program.
Considering the excellent results achieved, are you thinking of developing the live action genre further or will animation still remain Mondo TV’s core business for a long time?The production and co-production of live action TV series for teenagers will certainly be one of our main activities in the short and medium term for the Mondo TV Iberoamérica branch.
However, animation clearly remains the core business of the Gruppo Mondo TV! Moreover, thanks to the Mondo TV pre-production studio – Producciones Canarias – which is working on the pre-production of various titles including “Invention Story” and “Sissi 3D”, we intend to create a regular pre-production hub for the development of new projects.
In-house productions and strategic partnerships will be a constant objective of Mondo TV over the next few years. There’s lots to look forward to in 2019 – but there will be even more in the upcoming years!
You are enjoying a lot of success in Ibero- American countries, but Asia represents 50% of your revenue. What are the new titles and agreements with this part of the world that you can tell us about?
Among our current strong partners in Asia we can mention Henan York Studio in China with which we are co-producing the comedy series “Invention Story” (104 x 11’), CJ E&M in South Korea, our co-producers on “Robot Trains 2” (52 x 11’), Aurora World also from South Korea with which we have built a strong and wonderful alliance for the original Netflix series “Yoohoo To The Rescue” (52 x 11’) which will be released worldwide on the Netflix platform in the first few months of 2019.
In Japan we are collaborating on another property that will be broadcast on Netflix all over the world, based on “Piano No Mori”, a manga published by the Japanese group Kodansha.
In India we are working with Studio 56 on the production of “Sissi The Young Empress” season 3 (in 3D CGI, 52 x 11’) and we are co-producing “Final Fight” (26 x 26’) with Nada Anime in Taiwan,
It seems that 2018 has been Mondo TV’s most dynamic year in recent times…
We set up a convertible bond in order to obtain resources for the company and the group over the next 3 years. In particular, through this financial instrument, Mondo TV can support its working capital by obtaining greater financial flexibility even within very short periods of time: in other terms, through Atlas (Editor’s note: a New York investment company), Mondo TV is equipping itself with resources in order to be ready for the possible acquisition over the next three years of companies or company branches in markets where the group does not yet have an adequate presence.
The Merger & Acquisition activities can, in fact, be concentrated on acquiring market shares in areas such as northern Europe, the United States or Russia. Alternatively the resources can be used for the acquisition of high quality brands in order to expand the distribution po- tential of successful products around the world