Dream homes and royal gems prove popular with international buyers.

Orange Smarty, the independent distributor that specialises in multiplatform factual content, reports that it has sold more than 500 hours of premium factual content, with major package deals closed with TV4 Sweden, Ananey Israel, HRT Croatia, and Foxtel Australia. 

International demand has been particularly strong for property-search format A Place in the Sun, now in its 13th series on Channel 4 in the UK. TV4 Sweden has entered into a two-year, 320-hour agreement for the Freeform Productions show, in which property experts help house-hunters to search for their dream home in the sun. The TV4 Sweden package has also includes the first two series of True Vision’s award-winning Catching A Killer, billed as “real-life Inspector Morse”.

In a second volume deal for A Place in the Sun, Foxtel Australia has acquired 245 hours of the primetime juggernaut, which first rolled out in the UK in 2000. HRT Croatia, meanwhile, has taken series eight of sister show A Place in the Sun: Home or Away in a 16-hour package of Orange Smarty content. Also headed for Croatia are ITN Productions/Channel 5/National Geographic’s Michael Palin in North Korea, Pupfish Productions/National Geographic’s Chimp Babies and Athena Films/Channel 5’s Meet the Hedgehogs, fronted by Queen’s Brian May.

Also playing well with international buyers are documentary series about British royal family. Two of Orange Smarty’s most popular titles — ITN Productions/Channel 5’s Meghan and Harry: The New Revelations and Secrets of the Royals on Tour — have been picked up by Ananey Israel as part of a 31-hour package. Meghan and Harry explores the events that led to the couple’s headline-grabbing decision to step back from their duties as senior royals, while Royals on Tour takes viewers behind the glittering façade of a royal road trip. Also included in the Ananey package is Freeform Productions/Channel 4’s property format Coast Vs Country, in which two presenters compete to find the perfect home for a conflicted couple, one of whom wants to live by the coast and other in the country.

The success of ITN Productions /Channel 5’s strand of royal documentaries continues with sales to Nine Network Australia, which has picked up The Royals: A Family in Crisis and Prince Andrew and Scandal in the Royal House of York. The former charts Queen Elizabeth II’s latest ‘annus horribilis’, which started with Prince Philips’ car crash in January 2019, continued with the shame of her favourite son’s friendship with a convicted paedophile and climaxed with Meghan and Harry’s decision to turn their back on the UK. The second documentary explores the many scandals that have engulfed Prince Andrew, from his notorious love affairs and headline-grabbing relationships to questionable business deals.

Karen Young, founder and CEO of Orange Smarty, said: “It’s heartening to see that, even in an historically difficult market, the demand for premium factual content is holding firm. Broadcasters are more than ever looking for quality stand out content that brings an audience, so when they find what they are looking for they are happy to commit to a bigger deal.’