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Launched in 1993, Kanal D is Turkey’s leading media company in the development and production of entertainment, news and information for a broad audience base. Marking its 20th birthday, the broadcaster is leading Turkey’s television ad market and ratings, delivering content on multiple screens and actively selling its popular originals across the globe. Irfan Sahin, the CEO of Dogan TV, which operates Kanal D and a number of other assets, tells World Screen about the broadcaster’s strengths as it celebrates a milestone anniversary.

shows, such as Yaprak Dökümü [Leaf Cast], Ask-i Memnu [Forbidden Love], Binbir Gece [1001 Nights], Öyle Bir Geçer Zaman Ki [Time Goes By...]. WS: What gives Kanal D its edge over other channels? SAHIN: Kanal D has been the market leader for the

last decade and this gives Kanal D its edge over other channels. Kanal D’s main competitor is again Kanal D. We try and try new formats, new dramas

KANAL D TURNS 20

IRFAN SAHIN and new stories every season and strive to understand, “What’s the next big thing in the market?” “What are the hidden emotions in the hearts and minds of our audience?” “What are the new ways of doing things?” again and again. WS: What has been your approach to news? SAHIN: Kanal D airs almost an hour of daily news

programming at 7 p.m. and a short bulletin of 15 minutes during weekdays at noon. Kanal D is also one of the TV channels with long-running socio-political weekly discussion programs on its schedule. WS: How popular is your online platform netD? SAHIN: netD was launched recently and it is

WS: What are the driving forces behind Kanal D’s success? SAHIN: At Kanal D, we’re not merely a distributor and broadcaster of content, but also we’re in the business of making content from scratch. We have an effective and dominant role in every step of production; we make the final decisions [in] script writing, storytelling, casting, direction and music. We’re developing projects with these principles either inhouse or together with independent production companies. This way we can be proactive and set the trends for programming in the market. Last but not least, we strive to understand the global and local Zeitgeist and turn it into program offerings that can perfectly tap into the needs and tastes of the audience. Having this all in the same melting pot, we’ve come up with phenomenal stories, TV series and 2 World Screen 10/13

becoming very popular with its wide variety of premium content, which includes short- and longform videos of TV serials, documentaries, sports, health and cuisine [shows], webisodes, movies and live shows. The library consists of all current and archive content from Kanal D, CNN Türk and TV2 (channels owned by Dogan TV), other third-party content and original content produced or commissioned by netD. With the launch of netD, we created a new platform to address not only increasing demand for online catch-up TV, but also very dynamic online viewing habits and tastes. Dogan TV’s online assets have grown significantly in the last five years, exceeding 250 million video views annually. We believe that with better online video services and decreasing piracy in the market, this trend will get stronger. WS: How does the entertainment channel TV2’s pro-

gram schedule complement the offerings of Kanal D?


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SAHIN: With the new [ratings] system and emerging and fragmenting TV viewing trends, there’s now [increased] audience viewing, especially among [higher income] people, outside of the major five [terrestrial] channels. TV2 is well positioned to fit into the new TV landscape. TV2’s concept is based on variety and quality and therefore it acquires various genres and formats. WS: How is the advertising market in Turkey this year?

What does Kanal D offer advertisers that they cannot get with other channels? SAHIN: In comparison to the first five months of 2012, January to May 2013 TV adspend has increased by 20 percent, [which is faster] than the Turkish GDP growth rate. Kanal D offers a [wide] opportunity to its advertisers in standard commercial-break usage. In addition, Kanal D generates out-of-the-box ideas for its advertisers seeking to differentiate themselves from their competititon.

WS: How popular is your international channel, Euro D? SAHIN: Euro D is the leading channel among the

Turkish-speaking audience abroad and Turkish serials have a very important role establishing and maintaining its leading position there. WS: Are there plans for launching more channels like Kanal D Romania in other countries? SAHIN: Dogan TV is an entertainment group. We’re monitoring the opportunities in the local and global markets. There have been some offers made to us. If we see the grounds for further investment, we can evaluate them. WS: In what areas do you see growth for Kanal D? SAHIN: Kanal D will continue to be the flagship for

Dogan TV in the coming years. We’ll look for the opportunities in the entertainment business globally or locally that will make us grow in organic or inorganic ways. One thing that we’ll stick to is that we invest in content.

Ozlem Ozsumbul As the head of sales and acquisitions at Kanal D, Ozlem Ozsumbul is leading the charge to take the Turkish broadcaster’s hit dramas and formats across the globe. She tells World Screen about her expansion strategy.

with more than 45 titles. Time Goes By..., Gümüs, Fatmagul, Kuzey Guney, Lady’s Farm, Forbidden Love, Rebellious are some of the dramas that have reached many territories. The success of Turkish dramas had started in the Middle East and North Africa and then reached Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and the Far East. MENA and Central and Eastern Europe are the territories that have the highest viewership of Turkish drama series.We are expanding to Western Europe and Latin America.

WS: What has been Kanal D’s overall strategy for expanding its

reach worldwide? OZSUMBUL: We have a long history and ethnic variety in

Turkey, so we have many stories. To share what we do, how we feel and how we live are the first steps for us. When we start to work with a TV station somewhere else around the world, we are just concentrating on what they need and how we can help them. As a broadcaster we know that content and the audience are the kings. We are trying to find the correct answer, content, story for our foreign neighbors and friends. International distribution is really important for Turkey and Turkish media. This is not only content export. We share our stories, feelings and introduce our culture and our beautiful country. This is the best way to promote our country internationally. It brings many additional benefits to the economy, industry and tourism, as well. WS: What have been some of your most popular shows globally? OZSUMBUL: Kanal D is the most successful TV station in Turkey. As

a broadcaster we always have the best titles, stories, casts and productions on our screen.That’s why we reached audiences in 75 countries

WS: Are you selling the formats to Kanal D shows? OZSUMBUL: As Dogan Media Group we have our own pro-

duction company. D Production and In D House are producing many programs and dramas for our channels. For example, Time Goes By... is our own production, which we distribute; it is a hit title in many territories. We also produce entertainment shows such as My Partner Knows. We sold the format rights to Romania, Lebanon, Spain, Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Azerbaijan. WS: What are the main opportunities for your international dis-

tribution business? OZSUMBUL: We are open [to] new projects that will help us reach our target TV audience. We are ready to share our experience and also [to] learn more about other territories. Because of our busy days we are not able to concentrate on co-productions and other new opportunities now, but we have many offers and good ideas from many international companies. Next year we believe that we will enter Western Europe with our international stories and high-quality productions.

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HIGHLIGHTS FROM KANAL D Time Goes By... It’s 1967. Ali Akarsu, a ship’s captain, spends most of his time away from his family. His wife, Cemile, takes care of their four children. One day Ali finally comes back home from his journey. This time there is a dark side no one knows about. There is something unusual about his behavior. Cemile finds a letter in Ali’s pocket that will lead to many events that will turn the Akarsu family’s life upside down. The letter will reveal his secret—he’s having a love affair with a foreign woman. Is Cemile going to forgive her betraying husband? Who will Ali choose? Can this family be made whole again?

Mercy Narin is a young woman who has overcome many difficulties in her life through hard work and determination alone and is well on the way to becoming someone successful without help from anyone. She is a true heroine who has overcome the blows dealt by her mean family and the big city. Her story starts in a small village but ends in Istanbul.

Waiting for the Sun

My Partner Knows This entertainment program, with more than 150 episodes broadcast to date, airs every weekend in a prime-time slot and features lovers and engaged and married couples.The couples will find out how much they really know about each other and how much they trust each other.The game show consists of five games per episode. The fact that the competing couples do not hear each other’s answers is one of the most important key points of the show. The winning couple takes home a brand-new car! 6 World Screen 10/13

Demet has raised her daughter, Zeynep, as a single parent. She has hidden the truth about Zeynep’s father from her for many years. The simple life the pair leads in a small town is destroyed when the shop Demet owns goes bust. She receives a helping hand from her best friend, Jale, who is the headmistress of one of the most prestigious private schools in Istanbul. She offers Demet and Zeynep a place in her house in Istanbul. Demet gets ready for a new beginning there, working at Jale’s sister’s shop. Zeynep finds it hard to adapt to the city. On her first day at school she comes head to head with Kerem when she saves another boy who was being tortured by Kerem and his gang. Will Zeynep find happiness and her missing father in Istanbul? Will Kerem’s fixation on revenge turn into love?


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