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Press Releases

Press releases 2017

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Autentic takes full control of Autentic Distribution


Cannes, 16 October 2017. The Munich-based Autentic GmbH will take full control of the international factual distribution company Autentic Distribution, formerly a joint-venture of Autentic and the WDR mediagroup. Effective 1/1/2018, Autentic Distribution, headquartered in Cologne, becomes the wholly owned subsidiary of Autentic, which in turn is possessed by Patrick Hoerl and Jan Mojto’s Beta Film group. Autentic Distribution maintains its close relationship with WDR as exclusive distribution partner of all WDR documentaries.

“Throughout recent years, Autentic and the WDR mediagroup have built up a fast-growing distribution entity. Autentic will hold on to its strategy to invest in high-quality content to allow managing director Anne Hufnagel and her team to pursue this growth course,” says Autentic CEO Patrick Hoerl. “Investigative journalism by WDR has set an international standard. We are delighted to be able to keep on offering this content as well as productions from other public broadcasters in the future.”

Michael Loeb, WDR Mediagroup: “As part of the realignment of the WDR mediagroup, the investment portfolio is also being reviewed. In this connection, the decision has been made to sell the shares in Autentic Distribution as the common strategic objective of Autentic and WDR mediagroup has been achieved: the development of internationally successful sales for factual program. Therefore, the time has now come for the WDR mediagroup to withdraw. However, nothing changes when it comes to the good collaboration. The WDR mediagroup will continue to distribute the high-quality WDR factual productions on an international basis exclusively by means of Autentic Distribution. This successful partnership will continue.”

Autentic Distribution is heading to MIPCOM in Cannes with 150 hours of new factual programs, among them the remarkable documentary about live in the future “2077 – 10 Seconds to the Future” (4 x 60‘) and “Secrets of Arabia” (4 x 52’) which gives a fascinating inside into one of the richest regions in the world.


For further information:
Beta Film Press
Dorothee Stoewahse
Tel: + 49 89 67 34 69 15,

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Press release: Autentic takes full control of Autentic Distribution (PDF)

WDR mediagroup brings Maus and friends to Asia and America


Cologne/Cannes, 16 October 2017. The WDR mediagroup’s (WDRmg) International Content Sales is reporting successful deals in the children’s segment at MIPCOM (16 to 19 October in Cannes): Maus, Bobo, Trude’s Flatmate and Gigglebug have been sold to China, South Korea, America and Mexico. Rights have been issued for pay TV, video-on-demand (VOD) and free TV, depending on the format.

Maus, something of an institution on German television for roughly 45 years, will be seen in Mexico on Canal Once in future with the support of the “German Year in Mexico” project. Bobo, famous worldwide as a classic children’s book, will go on air with Daekyo Kids in South Korea on pay TV and as VOD and with V-ME on pay TV for Hispanic Americans. Trudes Flatmate, known from Maus, and Gigglebug, an internationally famous preschool app and series from Finland, will be available as VOD in China with JY Animation.

Stefanie Fischer, Head of Content at WDRmg: “Quality is a programme feature that is being sought worldwide. We can cater to this demand perfectly with our international children’s portfolio. Our current sales show that well made children’s programmes work beyond national borders. Our aim is to tap into more new markets for our superb quality children’s portfolio at MIPCOM.”

Press release: WDR mediagroup brings Maus and friends to Asia and America (PDF)Presskit: WDR mediagroup brings Maus and friends to Asia and America (ZIP, 27MB)

WDRmg brings Nordic kids’ programme "Gigglebug" to Channel 5’s "Milkshake!"

Copyright: Gigglebug Entertainment

WDR mediagroup (WDRmg) in Cologne has licensed Gigglebug Entertainment’s Finnish kids’ programme, “Gigglebug”, to Channel 5’s popular pre-school block “Milkshake!”. “Gigglebug” will be available exclusively on the brand’s newly launched YouTube channel from 24th July. The British broadcaster is betting on Gigglebug’s international success and popularity in the online world and will stream the first five episodes of the series on Milkshake!’s first ever YouTube channel when it launches on July 24th, with two new episodes released every week. The format will also be available for viewers on the block’s website,

“Gigglebug is just hilarious and we are so happy to be able to share it with the Milkshake! audience,” said Sarah Muller, Head of Children’s Channel 5. “The Milkshake! YouTube channel should provide an ideal platform for the property as UK families can enjoy episodes of this unique series.”

“Gigglebug”, the heartfelt and infectious series for pre-schoolers, consists of two seasons with 52 five-minute episodes. Produced by Gigglebug Entertainment, it was originally commissioned by YLE in Finland and SRF in Switzerland, and is already on air in numerous other European territories. As an app, Gigglebug has long been an international hit, as the protagonist of a TV-series, he is a star on the rise. Now the little forest creature with the infectious laugh is coming to the UK for the first time.

“Gigglebug” promises to get kids and families laughing together, highlighting the healing power of laughter and how positive thinking helps children learn better. Set in the enchanted Greengown Forest, Gigglebug shows his sometimes grumpy animal friends that you can achieve anything you set out to do if you have an optimistic outlook. With more than 1,000,000 downloads, the “Gigglebug“ apps have topped the preschool app charts in 64 countries.

Stefanie Fischer, Head of Content at WDRmg, says: “Starting a new YouTube channel with ‘Gigglebug’ fits perfectly to the brand, as it originated in the digital world. This kind of distribution by Channel 5 is a great opportunity for the series to expand on the existing fan base in the English-speaking territories.”

Anttu Harlin, CEO and Producer at Gigglebug Entertainment, says: “We’re thrilled to bring the utterly positive world of Gigglebug to the UK. At its heart, Gigglebug began as a digital brand, so we can’t think of a better UK home than the exciting new Milkshake! online channels. It’s already become a firm family favourite across Finland and we have no doubt that kids and families across the UK will also fall in love with the show and share magical moments of giggles.”

Press release: WDRmg brings Nordic kids’ programme Gigglebug to Channel 5’s Milkshake! (PDF)Image: "Gigglebug" 1 (JPG, Copyright: Gigglebug Entertainment)Image: "Gigglebug" 2 (JPG, Copyright: Gigglebug Entertainment)

Shaun the Sheep: WDR mediagroup and Trixie offer new licensed products for pet accessories

Copyrights: Trixie Heimtierbedarf

Trixie, the European market leader for pet supplies, and WDR mediagroup (WDRmg) are continuing to expand their cooperation arrangement. Last year alone, 17 products for dogs and cats were presented featuring motifs taken from the world of Shaun the Sheep. This year, pet-owners can look forward to new plush squeak toys in the form of Timmy and Timmy’s mother, as well as the cat Pidsley.  A cosy dog comforter with a Shaun motif will soon be available in stores, too.

Products that premiered already in 2016 at ‘Interzoo’, Europe’s largest fair for the pet trade, are now in high demand. These include plush squeak toys in the shape of Shaun, Bitzer, one of the Naughty Pigs and Pidsley the Cat, not to mention rubber squeaks in the shape of Shaun and Bitzer. In addition to animal toys, a variety of pet beds, cushions and sofas, as well as cosy dens in assorted designs and sizes have been established in the market. Rounding out the product range are a bag as well as bowls and bowl underlays.

Trixie is the first licensee in the pet-supplies market to use the popular brand featuring the clever TV sheep. This was made possible by the licensing agency in charge, WDRmg, which holds the merchandising rights for the successful British format in the GAS region. In consultation with the Shaun licensor Aardman Animations, Trixie’s pet-care products are now distributed in many European countries, including Germany, Austria, Switzerland, the UK, France, Italy, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland.

“‘Shaun the Sheep’ is a strong license brand that appeals to children and adults alike. The rural setting on a farm with lots of other animals offers ideal identification potential for pet-owners,” explains Julia Wurzer, Head of Brands at WDRmg. “With the Trixie products, Shaun is appearing in the pet market throughout Europe. The expansion of our cooperation shows that the licensed brand and the product are a perfect match, and demand for Shaun products for pets remains very high.”

“Shaun the Sheep” is a production by Aardman Animations in cooperation with BBC, WDR and WDR mediagroup. In Germany, the format airs as part of the “Sendung mit der Maus” on Das Erste and on KiKA, and in reruns on other channels of the ARD network. A total of 150 episodes of seven minutes each are available. Following the success of Shaun’s cinema premiere in 2015, a sequel of “Shaun the Sheep Movie” will start production in September 2017 and is scheduled to hit cinemas in 2019.

Press release: Shaun the Sheep - WDR mediagroup and Trixie offer new licensed products for pet accessories (PDF)Images: Shaun the Sheep - WDR mediagroup and Trixie offer new licensed products for pet accessories (ZIP, 9 MB)

Reality and Comedy: WDR mediagroup expands its international distribution catalogue with original WDR formats

Copyright: WDR

Just in time for MIPTV (3rd to 6th of April in Cannes), WDR mediagroup (WDRmg) has added two new reality formats and a fictional comedy series to its international distribution catalogue. In “Made with Love”, couples have to demonstrate how well they know each other by re-furnishing their partner’s flat. In “My Garden on a Plate”, participants try to out-cook each other using ingredients from their own gardens. And the series “Suck it up!” is about a vacuum cleaner salesman who gets himself involved in the most bizarre predicaments. All three formats were commissioned by WDR and are now available for international adaptation or remake for the first time.

In the home furnishing format “Made with Love”, the participating couples have to give a room in their home a makeover for their respective partner, supported by an interior design expert and a handyman. The end result shows whether they’re able to capture the taste of their partner without allowing their own preferences to creep in.

“My Garden on a Plate” is the perfect format for hobby cooks and gardeners: Six participants take it in turn to prepare a three-course meal using produce from their own gardens. They then have to rate each other’s performance – both in terms of their culinary skills and garden design.

The six-part comedy series “Suck it up!” centres around a vacuum cleaner salesman who has six weeks to sell 60 units of the latest model in order to keep his job. But customers like suicidal life coaches and narcissistic music producers make it tougher for him than expected, and he keeps getting embroiled in extremely odd situations.

Stefanie Fischer, Head of Content at WDRmg: “These three new formats give an idea of our strategy for building up our catalogue: We want to position ourselves as broadly as possible while simultaneously betting on quality and originality. The addition of reality formats on topics such as a cooking and home decorating and a brand new comedy series further broadens our spectrum to cover a variety of different programme genres.”

Press release: Reality and Comedy - WDR mediagroup expands its international distribution catalogue with original WDR formats (PDF)Images: MIPTV 2017 - formats (ZIP, 12 MB)
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"Gigglebug" comes to Channel 5's "Milkshake!"

Copyright: Gigglebug Entertainment The British broadcaster is betting on Gigglebug’s international popularity in the online world and will stream the episodes of the series on Milkshake!’s first ever YouTube channel as well as on the block’s website,

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Reality and Comedy: New orginal WDR-formats on the market

Copyright: WDR Content buyers from all over the world can now purchase the rights to produce international adaptations or remakes of the brand new reality formats "My Garden on a Plate" (pictured) and "Made with Love" as well as the fictional comedy series "Suck it up!".

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"Little Sandman" added to sales catalogue

Copyright: Rundfunk Berlin-Brandenburg (rbb) The German cult programme as well as four additional children's formats that deal with dreaming and going to sleep are now available for international TV broadcasting, DVD publication and video on demand exploitation.

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"Shaun the Sheep": New licensed products for pet accessories

Copyrights: Trixie Heimtierbedarf Trixie, the European market leader for pet supplies, will expand its popular range of "Shaun the Sheep" accessoires. Pet-owners can look forward to new plush squeak toys and cosy dog comforters.

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“WildWoods”: broadcasting rights available now

Copyright: Sixteen South The new live action series by Irish production studio Sixteen South will be filmed in summer 2017. It features puppets in beautiful outdoor locations and aims to encourage children to appreciate nature.

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Kavaleer and WDRmg team up for "Dougie Noir"

Copyright: Kavaleer, WDRmg 2016 Kavaleer Productions and WDR mediagroup will collaborate on a new 52 x 11 action-comedy series for 6-11 year olds, "Dougie Noir". The (estimated) €4.5m series is scheduled to begin pre-production Summer 2017.

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On the way to new heights in international commercial orbit

Copyright: NICI Q Pootle 5 travels at full throttle, and not just aboard his spaceship! Renowned toy manufacturers NICI and Bullyland will launch a range of new merchandising products at retail stores across Europe and beyond.

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