Report – Commissioner Conversations: International

Posted on: Friday 08 July 2016 12:00am by Simon Bor

Jo Daris, Head of Operations, m4e, introduced the international commissioners panel and asked what content they were looking for.


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  • French preschool is getting bigger as older children migrate to online platforms.
  • 70-80% of all Welsh views on iPlayer are for S4C’s children’s output.
  • Most PBS programming is US originated, because it includes the curriculum.


Julien Borde, Head of SVOD France Télévisions, said their content was exclusively animation, thanks to the government initiatives to support the animation industry in France. Preschool was getting bigger and bigger as older children migrated to platforms such as Netflix. He is looking for acquisitions, in particular specials, for female characters and mixed media production.

Pauline Macnamara, Executive Producer DSC8886Animation & Independent Commissions, Young People’s RTÉ, said that they were currently focusing on pre-school, trying to grow the RTÉ Junior channel. She was looking to tell Irish kids’ stories, as they already have access to UK output. They have a big animation industry to tap in to. They are looking for magazine formats for preschool and drama co-productions.

Sioned Wyn Roberts, Children & Learners Commissioner, S4C, said 75% of their preschool programmes on their strand, Cyw, are original, 25% are acquisitions. For older children, original programming rises to 90%. She wants to focus on Welsh kids’ lives through documentaries and comedy. S4C is available on BBC iPlayer and 70-80% of all Welsh views are for their children’s output.

Deirdre Brennan, VP Content, Corus Kids in Canada, has recently moved from ABC in Australia. Corus’s Treehouse is the number 1 preschool channel in Canada, Teletoon serves the 5-9s and YTV caters for 6-12s during the day and is a family channel after 7pm. Deirdre came with a long shopping list, she is looking for live action, soft serialisations, sophisticated storytelling and real family relationships.

Linda Simensky, VP Children’s Programming, PBS said that they have never left long-form programming. Their programmes are half-hour slots, some-times two eleven minuters put together. Most of her programming is US originated, because everything has to have the curriculum included. However, they do co-produce. The content should be entertaining and funny first. She said that she wants to capture all of the US’s diversities, and added that kids between 0 and 10 were far more diverse than 40-plus adults.

Linda, along with the rest of the panel, thought that direct contact by email was a good way to start the pitching process. Julien added that the acquisitions department at France Télévisions were always happy to see producers in Paris or at film markets such as Mip.

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Simon Bor

About the author

Simon Bor


I studied Animation at Farnham, and, more recently, I have been awarded an MA in Professional Writing at Falmouth University. I set up Honeycomb Animation with Sara Bor and have been involved in children’s television since the mid eighties. As a writer, I have co written and created several shows… Read more