French TV exports down, but drama sales up
Pascale Paoli Lebailly

French TV programme sales and pre-acquisitions dropped 1.5% last year to reach €150.4m, including €40.4m for pre-sales. The new figures released by export association TV France International at Biarritz Rendez-Vous also points out that pure sales dropped 7.3% to €110m owing to the economic crisis and the growing fragmentation of the worldwide TV market.

Another key fact is the unexpected dramatic rise of French fiction, that reached equality with the sales of the main international genres, documentaries and animation. Drama pre-sales rose 103.8% last year to reach €15.5m vs €7.6m in 2007, and represented 38% of the total pre-sales. Titles mentioned to explain this rise are international copros Coco Chanel (AB Productions, Pampa Production, France 2) and Affaires de famille (Expand Drama, Breakout Films, France 2, Canal+).

Drama pure sales also went up 22.1% last year to reach €26.8m, very close to animation’s €30.7m and doc’s €28.7m.

Experts analysed this new upward trend in drama with reference to the way in which French drama has renewed itself in the last few years in terms of scripts and formats, with titles like Canal+’s series Engrenages, sold to BBC.

Western Europe remained the major acquisition region for French TV productions. With a turnover of €72.1m, down 7.2%, it still represented 65.5% of global sales.