U.S. imports provide $4.3 billion value for broadcasters

LONDON — European broadcasters’ appetite for Hollywood movies remains strong despite a challenging economy and the emergence of online platforms offering films on demand.

An analysis of 18,600 titles aired on 119 webs (most free-to-air) in 21 territories suggests that the value of features for the broadcasters was $4.3 billion in 2011, more or less identical to 2010.

This is according to a new report, Imported Feature Films on European TV, compiled by Essential Television Statistics, branded content specialists Madigan Cluff and Digital TV Research.

Value was defined by the financial benefit (sourced by advertising revenues or a proportion of annual household license fee) broadcasters receive by screening films.

The webs screened 96,861 hours of movies in 2011, marginally up on the previous year’s 96,094.

Warner Bros., NBCUniversal, Disney, Fox, Paramount, and Sony accounted for two-thirds of the imported film hours in 2011.

Warners is the largest distributor by hours ahead of NBCUniversal in second.

The majors accounted for 71% of the revenues generated from imported films in 2011, with Warners the leader by a large margin.

Jonathan Bailey, co-author and managing director at ETS, said, “The total number of imported feature film hours in Europe hovers just below 100,000 each year.

“Germany was the leader again in 2011, followed by the U.K. and Russia. France and the Netherlands are notable absentees from the list of top countries.”

He added, “This research also highlights how important franchise titles are.

“From the top 20 titles in 2011, 14 were part of a trilogy (or greater). The top 20 includes three from ‘Pirates of the Caribbean,’ four ‘Indiana Jones’ and three from the ‘Harry Potter’ series.”

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