Docs, toons boost French TV exports

5% revenue rise is thanks to plethora of digital outlets

Driven by doc and animation programs sales, French TV exports rose 5.1% in 2010 to reach €105.6 million ($148.4 million), according to figures unveiled Wednesday at the TVFI Biarritz Rendez-Vous.

TVFI’s Mathieu Bejot said the market rebound concerned trading volume more than revs. “New digital channels that have become important buyers of French programs but they are generally investing less in original programming than the traditional terrestrial broadcasters,” according to the report compiled by the CNC and TVFI.

Animated program sales rose 9.1% to $48.9 million, while docs climbed 13.7% to $37.1 million. Formats generated $24.1 million, a 4.9% increase on 2009.

Meanwhile, drama sales fell 11.6% to $26.8 million. Bejot said the revenue drop was mainly due to declining production levels and the wrap of such bestselling, long-running series as “Navarro” and “Julie Lescaut.” Bejot also pointed out specific examples of fiction drama series that have scored top ratings overseas, such as “Spiral,” which is sold by Newen Distribution. “Spiral” format has been optioned by BBC America, he said.

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