International Outlander – what we know so far…
International broadcast rights to Outlander are owned by Sony and Sony is handling the negotiations outside of the US. Canadian rights have been acquired by Showcase.
If you are not familiar with Chris Parnell, Senior Vice President at Sony, you should be. He is a great guy and totally committed to Outlander. He’s our strongest ally. He has complete faith in the team responsible for selling the rights to Outlander worldwide. Chris is very well aware of the eagerness of Outlander fans to advance all things Outlander worldwide and has promised to enlist us when fan-based promotional efforts are needed.
UK – On November 13, we did a Twitter event #UKTVNeedsOutlander. It was a great success, trending in both the US and UK for over 40 minutes, and even Diana participated. Shortly after the event, an entertainment blogger in the UK referenced the Twitter event and said that it is very common for UK rights to be bought shortly before US-produced series air in the US. On January 6, The Daily Star, a tabloid, casually mentioned that Outlander will air on Sky in the UK. It has not been mentioned anywhere since, so the accuracy of the report is unknown at this time.
Summary – holding pattern here.
Australia – The cable company there, Foxtel, and the Foxtel channel most likely to air Outlander, SoHo, have been fairly responsive to fan communications. Initially, their position was “Outlander is a Starz series. They do not do well here. It will be expensive. We will make a decision when/if it is a hit in the US.” They did say that social media efforts could positively influence a buying decision. We held a Twitter event on December 8, #NZOZTVNeedOutlander (New Zealand and Australia TV Need Outlander), and both Foxtel and SoHo favorited, retweeted and replied to our tweets. A week later, we followed up with an e-mail campaign. Foxtel replied that they had forwarded our interest to their channels team but that a decision is months away. Since then, their replies to e-mails have indicated some annoyance, so the best tack to take in Australia is to keep general social media activity high, but to not target Foxtel and SoHo directly. We have made some as-yet unsuccessful efforts to trend on Twitter there. Recruitment of Australian Outlander fans to Twitter and Facebook groups are key here. One suggested Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NZOZTVNeedOutlander/
Summary – General social media efforts are encouraged but direct contact with broadcasters will likely be counterproductive at this time.
New Zealand – Outlander fans in New Zealand have been vocal enough that Sky/Prime channel has added a statement about Outlander to the FAQ section on their website, stating “There are a couple of channels looking at being able to purchase the new series Outlander, but we have nothing to confirm at this time.” Again, recruitment of New Zealand fans to Twitter and Facebook groups would be helpful. The numbers needed to trend in New Zealand are pretty low, so a relatively small group of fans could have a great impact.
Summary – as in Australia, keeping up the social media activity is our best bet at this time.
Russia, Georgia, the CIS and the Baltic States – Per deadline.com:
“Starz Worldwide Distribution Inks With Russia’s Amedia
In other Starz news, Starz Worldwide Distribution and Russian TV producer/pay-TV broadcaster and VOD service operator Amedia have entered a multi-year, multiplatform content licensing and distribution deal for current and future Starz original series. The deal also covers other movie and TV content that will be brought to audiences in Russia, Georgia, the CIS and the Baltic States. Amedia will have exclusive pay-TV and SCOD rights to such series as The White Queen, Magic City and Michael Bay’s Black Sails. It also covers future series including Power. Amedia plans to broadcast episodes of the original series the day after their respective U.S. premieres.”
Summary – Outlander is not mentioned specifically, but is certainly a “future Starz original series.” This looks like a done deal for Outlander to reach a huge potential audience. (Feel free to squee.)
China – Boy, do we want China! Again, per deadline.com: The Ellen DeGeneres Show is now available on-demand via online video service provider Sohu Video, subtitled in Chinese and delivered within 48 hours of the original U.S. broadcast.
We will be crafting a campaign to get Outlander exposure on Ellen to get the first foot in the door in China. Keep alert for updates on this effort.
Germany, Scandinavia, Spain, Italy and Latin America – A small number of fans have reached out to us for help in bringing Outlander to the attention of broadcasters. We are more than willing to help. We need e-mail addresses and Twitter handles for all likely prospects in these areas. If you are a fan who can help us with research, please contact us. This, of course, holds true for fans in any country not mentioned above. The success of Outlander worldwide is our only goal.
One last note:
As Outlander is beloved world-wide, Outlander Ambassador has been visited by fans from around the globe.
Long Live Outlander on Starz!