Hit dramas mean solid business for MISTCO
MISTCO Managing Director Ayşegül Tüzün expects to close even more deals during the first MIPCOM after the pandemic period which was marked by record sales for the Turkish distributor thanks to its rich catalog of fresh hit series. In her opinion, the genres which dominated last season will once again define the trends on the Turkish market during the new TV season.
Ayşegül Tüzün
Managing Director, MISTCO
MITSCO has announced numerous deals in the past few months. Are things slowly returning to normal after the pandemic?
Yes, last season, our company was active in almost every territory. Of course, the main reason was the local success of our brand-new titles. We released 5 dramas and 4 of them were the leaders of their slots plus The Innocents was the highest-rated drama of last season. When you have such an assertive lineup plus a strong library, in any circumstances, success comes along with it.

How did the COVID crisis affect the distribution business in terms of content demand and buying potential of your clients?
From the start of the pandemic, we have seen great interest in our titles. As I said, it is because we are representing very strong titles. Also, we have added new territories and new clients during this period.

What have been some of MISTCO’s hits?
In the first place The Innocents is our biggest hit. After MENA and Chile, it made a big impact in Spain.

The Great Seljuks: Guardians of Justice is another interesting title of ours. MENA is our strongest region. Buyers are interested in this great historical drama that will run for several seasons. Also, new deals are on the way for both.

In addition, Melek A Mother’s Struggle, Golden Cage, An Anatolian Tale and The Shadow Team, which are among the most popular contents of our library, are about to fly to new regions.

What about your new projects?
TRT will have two brand-new historical drama series as there is increasing demand for this genre and both titles will be perfect matches for international audiences. The Great Seljuks: Guardians of Justice Season 2 continues in the tradition of great historical TRT productions. In the second season, the Great Seljuks return with Sultan Alparslan and as a first in Turkey, in the new season it will continue with a retrospective narration and will show backgrounds from Season 1. Barış Arduç and Fahriye Evcen are starring in the brand-new historical drama. The series is expected to begin in the first week of October.

Another title is Barbarossa: Sword of the Mediterranean starring Engin Altan Düzyatan (known from Resurrection: Ertugrul) and Ulaş Tuna Astepe (known from Lifeline). The series is about brave and legendary sailors who become conquerors of the seas in the 16th century. It has already received interest on the international market and will be one of the best-selling titles of this season.

What will be the main trends in Turkish drama this season?
Dramas that emphasize physiological problems and historical dramas were trends last year and I think these two genres will keep their popularity this year.

Has TV production in Turkey managed to pick up its pace after the lockdowns?
I believe Turkish producers delivered great work last year. Although they worked under the COVID situation, they kept producing.

Most of the market events this year were canceled or held virtually. How crucial are the in-person events to your sales and have you managed to find a work-around?
We prefer in-person events as we have a chance to connect personally. Also, we have a chance to share sometimes coffee or dinner with our clients, so we are able to socialize. I cannot say it has had a major impact on sales as it totally depends on your library. But of course, physical markets are important to find new clients.

The role of VOD has increased significantly in recent years. What are your latest partnerships and deals with video services and do you expect a higher demand for quality content from them?
Last year, we closed several deals for VOD as it is a new trend but the most important one is the partnership with StarzPlay for The Innocents, Resurrection Ertugrul and Filinta. Also, even for some niche territories in South Asia, we sealed different deals, especially for our historical lineup.

CEE and Latin America are traditionally important territories for Turkish dramas. Have you witnessed an increase in interest from other territories as well?
Interest from these regions is always increasing as each Turkish content has very successful results in these regions.
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