Int'l TV sales overshadow film revenues

MADRID — Despite sluggish economic growth around much of the world, Spanish TV exports grew 9.2% last year to Euros42.7 million ($58.1 million), according to a report by Spain’s producers body Fapae.

Boosted by a hike in docus and toon series sales, overseas Spanish TV revenues bettered international film sales ($42.8 million) for the first time since Fapae began to estimate export stats in 2003.

In contrast, film sales plunged 27.2% last year, dented by the absence of any wide U.S. release such as 2009’s Sony-distributed Spanish toon pic “Planet 51.”

As a consequence, total Spanish film and TV sales dipped 9.9% to $100.9 million in 2010.

2010 figures confirm a positive trend for Spanish TV sales, which have improved 46.7% since 2003.

Among TV genres, fiction — both original shows and formats — continue to be the TV shows in most demand abroad. 2010’s TV sales highlights abroad include swashbuckler skein “Red Eagle,” sold by Imagina Intl. Sales to more than 20 countries, including a U.S. pickup by Hispanic channel V-ME, and Antena 3’s comedy format “Aqui no hay quien viva,” whose reversioning rights were acquired by ABC Stateside.

Western Europe still reps the bulk of Spanish film and TV exports, accounting for $54.5 million in sales.

Sales of film/TV product to the U.S. fell 17% from 2009’s $9.7 million to $8.1 million last year.

Spanish TV production companies‘ foreign income represents nearly 25% of their annual revenues; for animation studios, figures are even higher, almost 50% of revenue, according to a market survey by Spanish export board Icex cited by Fapae.

Follow @Variety on Twitter for breaking news, reviews and more