The value of imported drama series for European broadcasters has dropped by $1 billion since 2008, a report released Wednesday found.

The skeins’ worth was down 16% to $5.4 billion in 2012, according to the  report written by Michael Cluff and Jonathan Bailey.

The value was calculated from ad revenues generated when the shows aired and/or a proportion of funding to the pubcaster.

“Two-thirds of the fall can be explained by lower income generated by advertising and state grants/license fees,” Cluff said.

“Although the rate of change varies substantially by country, the remainder of the drop seems to come from a combination of cash strapped channels cutting the easiest external costs, and the longer term gradual movement of hours out of the high share channels and into secondary channels.”

The number of hours screened fell 2% to 157,606 in 2008-2012, while the average value per hour dropped by 14% to $34,290.

Italy was the top country by value in 2012 with $1.06 billion, followed by Germany with $1.05 billion, and France with $867 million. Those three countries repped 55% of Europe’s total.

The U.K. came a distant fourth with $335 million as few imported dramas are aired on the main channels.

Research for the report was carried out by Essential Television Statistics, Madigan Cluff and Digital TV Research, which analyzed the revenue for 1,677 imported drama series on 119 channels across 21 territories.