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TV movies going cheap at Bavaria

Demand for scripted content is rising

BERLIN — Pssssst! Wanna buy a cheap movie? Bavaria Film is offering package deals that cut the production price of the average TV movie from between $1.5 million and $2 million to just $1.2 million.

The demand for scripted content is rising on German TV as format fatigue hits viewers, but production costs remain a concern for local broadcasters.

The Munich-based entertainment giant is looking to ease the pain with Projects 995.

According to Bavaria topper Thilo Klein, the company is adjusting production prices and conditions to demands.

Bavaria will offer broadcasters the discount this summer, normally the season when producers take advantage of better shooting conditions.

Company, one of Germany’s biggest producer-distribs, hopes to keep the scheme cost-effective by shooting fewer days, using more of its studio soundstages and backlots and, more importantly, retaining DVD and international rights to the discount movies.

Bavaria execs believe the package deal is more suited to romantic comedies than to action-packed pics, which have to shoot on location.

The number of TV movies has dropped nearly 50% in the past five years to around 170 a year as a result of rising costs, sinking ad revenue and a focus on cheap reality programming.

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