French TV coin remains at $1 bil in ’99; hours up

More segments means cash spread thinner

PARIS — The French spent around $1 billion on TV production in 1999, almost the same as in ’98, while the number of hours produced went up 22%.

Foreign investments fell by nearly a quarter last year to $130 million.

The shortfall was primarily felt in fiction, where coin plunged 40% as fewer French series made international pre-sales.

Meanwhile, a 28% increase in documentary hours contributed to the even thinner spread of government subsidies, which remained constant at $129 million.

Announcing the figures at Mip TV, the Centre National de la Cinematographie (CNC), the official body responsible for film and TV production, said it would try to toughen the eligibility criteria for subsidies by next year.

CNC managing director Jean-Pierre Hoss said a deal that takes into account the views of French producers unions would be sought.

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