Discovery Strikes Deal With Channel 4’s Walter Presents To Launch Premium Drama Service In Italy

World’s best foreign language dramas available on Discovery Italia from September 2018

Acclaimed streaming video on demand service Walter Presents, which has won plaudits and a loyal following for delivering the world’s best foreign-language dramas to UK, US and Australian audiences, will be teaming up with Discovery Italia, in the next stage of a planned global roll out, to bring its award-winning dramas to Italian audiences from September 2018.

Discovery Italia which has built an exceptional reputation with its slate of top rating factual channels to become one of the most successful linear players in Italy, will now also deliver exclusive, award winning and original first run drama series with subtitles, to a wide Italian audience, by exploiting its fast growing digital Dplay service, where customers with an appetite for top quality drama can watch series on demand. Dedicated slots for Walter Presents titles will be aired also on its prestigious Nove and Giallo channels.

Capitalising on the growing demand for world drama, Discovery Italia aims to host over 500 hours of premium foreign language drama across two years and will include a diverse range of series which have been blockbuster hits in their native countries. From Nordic thrillers to South American chillers, every series will feature bespoke high-quality customized sub-titling.

Walter Presents launched in the UK on Channel 4’s on-demand service All 4 in January 2016. Since then the service has garnered rave reviews and millions of views to a broad range of high-quality foreign language TV drama. Walter Presents is named after its Italian curator and host Walter Iuzzolino, a passionate drama fan who uniquely hand picks each show, provides introductions for each series and never uses computer algorithms to select titles.

Marinella Soldi, Chief Strategy Officer Discovery EMEA & Managing Director Discovery Networks Southern Europe: “Partnering with Walter Presents is another bold move which is typical of our success in this business: anticipating consumer trends and applying successful and creative models from other countries. Our aim is to replicate and build upon the phenomenal success the service has enjoyed in the UK with Channel 4. It’s an innovative model which perfectly converges linear and VOD to create a sweet spot for viewers and broadcasters alike.”

Walter Iuzzolino, co-founder and curator of Walter Presents says: “Discovery Italia has an impressive track record and has proven to be an astute, decisive and successful group of channels – I couldn’t hope for a better partner to embark on this drama adventure together. As an Italian, this is something I’ve wanted to do for a very long time – it’s a personal dream come true for me and I can’t wait to get started.”

Laura Carafoli, SVP Chief Content Officer Discovery Southern Europe adds: “We know our audiences are curious and hungry for quality content and Walter Presents brings an entirely new element to the Discovery entertainment experience. We are delighted to be able to showcase these compelling and addictive hit thrillers from countries as diverse as Brazil, Norway and Chile, further broadening the scope of our Discovery Italia offerings.”

Amongst the series highlights of the forthcoming Italian launch are:

SPIN: Award winning French political thriller starring Grégory Fitoussi and Bruno Wolkowitch. When the French president is assassinated a snap election is called leaving two spin doctors, formerly mentor and protégé, are for the first time pitted against each other. They will go to any lengths to ensure their candidate wins.

THE ADULTERER: Addictive thriller from the Netherlands. After a mutual and steamy affair takes place between a photographer and a lawyer, their lives and those around them become entangled in lies, secrets and dirty business.

SPIRAL: The most iconic French cop show of all time. Set in Paris the series follows a police unit and the lawyers attached to it, as they try to solve violent crimes and convict some of the country’s most brutal criminals.

Other series coming up are a selection of multi award winning productions from HBO Latin America, including Emmy winner and Mexican family crime saga Mr Avila, Emmy nominated action thriller Fugitives, plus the dark brooding psychological Belgian thriller 13 Commandments.

About Walter Presents

Walter Presents launched January 2016 in the UK as a  video-on-demand service and is a joint venture between Channel 4 and Global Series Network, founded by Jason Thorp, Walter Iuzzolino and Jo McGrath. Dedicated to showcasing award winning foreign language drama, the service is named after its curator Walter Iuzzolino, a passionate drama fan.  In March 2017 Walter Presents launched as an SVOD platform in the US with the New York Times hailing it as a ‘chic TV boutique with a foreign accent’. In November 2017 Walter Presents launched in Australia on Foxtel, the second stage of a planned global roll-out.

About Discovery Italia

Discovery Italy is the leading quality entertainment provider with a multiplatform portfolio of 14 channels and the OTT services Dplay and Eurosport Player. Our 7 free-to-air channels (NOVE, Real Time, DMax, Giallo, Motortrend, K2 and Frisbee) and 7 pay channels (Discovery Channel, Discovery Science, Discovery Travel&Living, Animal Planet exclusively on Sky, ID – Investigation Discovery exclusively on Mediaset Premium and Eurosport 1 and Eurosport 2 on Sky and Mediaset Premium) reach an overall share of 7%. From January 2017 Eurosport is officially the Home of the Olympics. In Italy, Discovery has consolidated its position thanks to ability to create a unique and integrated ecosystem, with multiplatform brands that represent a social destination for a dynamic audience, for talents and for partners looking for a relevant and innovative media stakeholder. Milan is also the headquarters of Discovery Networks Southern Europe region, which covers Italy, Spain, Portugal and France.