Imported drama sinks in value for European broadcasters

The value of imported drama series for European broadcasters was US$ 5.4bn in 2012, down US$ 1bn (16%) from the 2008 total, according to a new report co-written by three research companies.

UK firms Digital TV Research, Madigan Cluff and Essential Television Statistics found that there was a significant drop in value for imported drama in Europe last year, with two-thirds of the fall attributed to lower income generated by advertising and state grants/licence fees.

Michael Cluff, co-author of the report, said: “Although the rate of change varies substantially by country, the remainder of the drop seems to come from a combination of cash strapped channels cutting the easiest external costs and the longer term gradual movement of hours out of the high share channels and into secondary channels.”

Italy remains the biggest importer of foreign drama series, closely followed by Germany, with France in third place. The UK – Europe’s other so-called ‘Big Four’ economy – was a long way behind as few imported dramas are aired on the main channels.

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