German media imports down

Domestic film earnings, foreign sales up

BERLIN — German companies imported fewer foreign productions and exported more domestically-produced films and series in 1997 than in previous years, the Federal Office of the Economy in Eschborn concluded in a recent study.

German firms paid 1.72 billion marks ($956 million) for TV, theatrical and video rights to foreign productions in 1997, $342 million less than in 1996. Teutonic buyers spent $431 million on U.S. product in 1997, down from $594 million the previous year.

At the same time, foreign sales of German productions rose from $138 million in 1996 to $156 million in 1997. German feature films earned $46 million abroad last year, up from $32 million in 1996. Eastern Europe was the biggest market for German product.

Researchers attributed the changes to increased domestic production expenditures among German TV networks, as well as the success of homegrown feature films at the German box office.

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