October 10, 2023

Eight broadcasters launch biggest drama collaboration in Europe

A new collaboration, named New8, brings together eight public service broadcasters from North-Western Europe to exchange drama. As a partner, VRT is able to expand its content offer and help strengthen the impact of public broadcasters in the international media sector.

Strong drama by and for public broadcasters

VRT (Belgium), NRK (Norway), SVT (Sweden), YLE (Finland), DR (Denmark), RÚV (Iceland), NPO (Netherlands) and ZDF (Germany). These are the eight broadcasters that will join forces the coming three years. Collaboration is essential for public broadcasters to create drama in a sustainable way. This new collaboration, entitled 'New8', ensures that Flemish drama series are guaranteed funding and can be immediately brought to an international audience. This creates more opportunities for local creators and strengthens the drama sector. At the same time, the Fleming gets a wide range of top drama from different countries.

This international collaboration between public broadcasters is literally breaking barriers. We have a shared mission, and focus on stories that surprise and connect. Thanks to this collaboration, we can expand and enrich the current drama offer for Flemish viewers. And we create fertile ground for local and high-quality drama, which can be very distinctive in today's media landscape."
Frederik Delaplace, CEO VRT

It is the first time that so many public broadcasters collaborate around drama. The genre plays an important role in a public broadcaster's offering. Not only to entertain viewers, but also to bring stories that are relevant in today's society. The success of such a collaboration has already been proven: the existing drama alliance between Scandinavian broadcasters, called Nordic 12, has already produced several top series that are enjoyed by an international audience, such as Exit and The Thin Blue Line.

"We are proud that VRT was able to help realise this collaboration between eight very strong public broadcasters. Together with Flemish producers and talents, we have worked for years to build our reputation as an innovative, creative and reliable drama actor. Today, we are reaping the benefits of this and putting local drama even better on the world map. With the genre, we provide insight into our society and open up debate. A core mission of VRT." - Elly Vervloet international drama expert at VRT

International co-financing

Specifically, the partners will co-finance eight drama series annually, which will be shown as of 2024. The collaboration is based on trust: each broadcaster will choose which series they bring in, based on their shared public values.

New8 is a unique achievement for European public service broadcasters and their audiences. New8 with the strong drama partners attached, will be the largest drama collaboration in Europe. It will be extremely exciting to see it come to life and evolve.
Hans-Jørgen Osnes, Head of International Financing Drama at NRK (Norway)

We will announce the first titles later this year.