Imported feature films create $4 billion for European broadcasters

Editor | 18-07-2012

New research has calculated the value created by imported feature films for European broadcasters in 2011 at around $4.318 billion.

According to the Imported Feature Films on European TV report from Essential Television Statistics, Madigan Cluff and Digital TV Research which tracked 18,600 titles across 119 channels, nearly all of which are free-to-air, over 21 territories, the 96,861 hours’ worth of screen produced a value per hour of $44,577. This was slightly below the 2010 figure and almost identical to that of 2009 despite the recession and greater competition from new technologies over the past three years.
The daily average for the 119 channels in the report was 2.2 hours in 2011 and 17 channels aired more than four hours a day, what amounts to around two feature films. Germany’s ProSieben screened the most – 2,319 hours (or 6.4 hours a day) in 2011. German channels contributed nearly a quarter of the total value in 2011, followed by Italy and the UK. Together these three countries accounted for 52% of the total.
Furthermore a quarter of imported feature film hours in Europe appear in primetime, with the proportion varying from 54.9% in the Netherlands to only 6.4% in Portugal in 2011. Six distributors accounted for two-thirds of the imported feature film hours screened in 2011 and the same studios accounted for 71% of the revenues generated. Warner Bros led by a considerable distance from NBC Universal in both hour screen and revenues generated.
Commenting on the variation, Michael Cluff, co-author and director at Madigan Cluff, said: “There is a big variation in the value generated between major markets…A great deal of the difference in performance between countries is the regularity of slotting major films. For instance, Germany’s Pro7 had 303 hours and Sat 1 had 281 hours of films in primetime in 2011, which generated €176 million. In contrast, France’s TF1 had just 67 hours of imported films in primetime and M6 52 hours creating a total value of €52 million.”
Jonathan Bailey, co-author and managing director at ETS, added: “The total number of imported feature film hours in Europe hovers just below 100,000 each year. Germany was the leader again in 2011, followed by the UK and Russia. However, France and the Netherlands are notable absentees from the list of top countries.”