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Axios Pro Media Deals Q&A: Fox Entertainment Global CEO Fernando Szew

Oct 13, 2022
Photo illustration of Fernando Szew, head of Fox Global Entertainment, with a film reel and various shapes

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images. Photo: courtesy of Fox Entertainment Global

Ahead of next week's Mipcom Cannes, Fox Entertainment Global CEO Fernando Szew spoke with Axios about bringing the company back into the international marketplace.

Why it matters: Fox is getting back into a business — international content licensing — that many of its competitors shunned in favor of keeping content on their own global streaming platforms.

  • After selling off much of its studio business to Disney in 2019, Fox has quietly rebuilt, with Fox Entertainment Global as its newest operation.
  • Fox will bring three upcoming series to Mipcom: "Krapopolis," "Grimsburg" and "Animal Control."

Why he matters: Szew was brought over when Fox acquired his TV movies studio MarVista Entertainment last year.

Take me through the reason for starting up this new business for Fox.

  • [We're] looking at creating a two-way street of content flow with international partners. We're very eager to get out to the international community and not just monetize and push out our content, but also to act as a very willing partner with open arms to the international community.

Your competitors have largely gotten out of international content licensing to keep it for themselves on their streaming services that have global ambitions. Does that give you an inherent advantage?

  • Not having to be beholden to keeping everything for ourselves — we think that the global marketplace is very welcoming to that strategy.

We're in the post-"Squid Game" world where a foreign-language show can be a massive global hit. How does that change or maybe inform what you guys can do with some of these international partners?

  • The globalization of content creation and content distribution is exactly the intersection that we want to play in.

Fox Entertainment Global is debuting at next week's Mipcom Cannes. What do you hope to get out of it?

  • We're going to be selling and licensing [content], so it kind of goes without saying that it's one of the measures of success.
  • The other one is primarily the testing of thesis, which is, are we going to come out of this and really think that we're building long-term relationships with like-minded platforms around the world or in different areas of the world where we can really think about, how do we create content? ... I think that's going to be the measure of success. Can we create sticky relationships with the international buyers?
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