France 2 prod'n tops at Prague TV fest

PRAGUE — France 2’s production “Chimere” took the main prize at the Golden Prague TV festival, which ran May 7-10 in the Czech capital.

Now in its 34th year, making it one of the oldest TV fests in Europe, Golden Prague has for the past five years specialized in music programs and been sponsored by pubcaster Czech Television.

This year marked an expansion for the festival, with a 50% increase in competition entries and accreditations, and public presentations offered for the first time.

While a panel discussion highlighted the double-edged sword of money and program slots whittling away at TV music departments, Czech TV sales executive Milena Jaresova said this has been a banner year for sales of music programs for the station.

“It’s a completely new thing, a complete change from last year, when no one was interested in classical music because they produced their own,” said Jaresova. “We suddenly received a great demand.”

Jaresova attributes the boom in sales to digitalization and the advent of new channels around the globe specializing in music programming. Her largest buyers come from France, Japan and Latin America. She thinks Czech quality and prices are a big advantage.

“Satellite and cable channels don’t pay as much — they have limited budgets — but they take a lot of programs and packages,” she said, adding, “They buy non-exclusive, so there’s no resale problem.”

Czech TV sells mixed packages that include music ranging from folklore to opera.

“A higher demand for screening cassettes started last year,” Jaresova said, with many deals finalized at April’s Mip TV trade show. “If our partners don’t insist on all brand new programs, we have a large stock we can go back to. Maybe it’s a one-time situation, but if it continues, we have a lot of unique programs to offer.”

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