Global TV production shifts

International centers sprouting in bunches

LONDON — The global TV production biz’s “center of gravity” is expected to shift from the U.S. to new international centers based in London, Amsterdam, Mumbai and Hong Kong.

This to likely to occur in the next five years as the demand for entertainment formats like “Big Brother” and “Hell’s Kitchen” remains strong, according to a new report from London-based media strategists Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates.

The good news for U.S. producers is that Yank fare will continue to maintain its global lead in high-end drama and comedy.

The report on prospects for the European content creation sector until 2012 also predicts that leading European producers of global formats, such as Endemol and Fremantle, are set to maintain 15% a year growth.

This is because Euro network schedules are forecast to screen more cost-effective format shows across more genres while the U.S. appetite for European formats is likely to remain keen.

Currently less than 15% of European commercial webs’ peak time schedules are format shows.

However, overall growth in European TV content is anticipated to slow to 3% a year as fragmenting revenues increases pressure on the leading commercial channels.

The report forecasts that “commercial broadcasting groups and major U.S. studios are among those likely to be looking to expand their production activities across Europe — to be part of the high growth formats business and to secure the rights necessary to drive new services and new platforms.”

Oliver & Ohlbaum also predicts that financial imperatives and the “globalization of the external content creation market” will force European pubcasters to rationalize their in-house production divisions.