Investment in French TV Animation, Fiction Soared in 2016

PARIS – Investment in local TV animation and fiction in France soared by 68.8% and 23.7%, respectively, in 2016, according to a study unveiled Tuesday by the National Film Board (CNC).

Animated shows received €62 million ($65.8 million) and fiction programs €87.1 million ($92.4 million) in financing last year, the study said.

Nearly 900 hours of fiction programming was produced in France in 2016, a 20.6% increase from the year before, according to the CNC. The cumulative budget of the 897 hours of programming reached €778.9 million ($826.4 million), a rise of 21.9% from 2015.

While the investment in fiction from French TV channels went up by more than 15%, the biggest spike in investment came from foreign producers and networks, which spent €51.2 million ($54.3 million), or 6.6% of the financing of all TV fiction programs in 2016, compared with 3.1% in 2015.

The one-hour drama format continued to grow in popularity in 2016, reaching a record 391 hours produced, 118 more hours than in 2015. Series of all formats, meanwhile, also reached a record 812 hours produced (166 more hours than in the year before).

With homegrown drama series such as “The Bureau,” “Versailles” and “Call My Agent!” drawing high ratings, France strengthened its role as one of Europe’s top purveyors of drama.

“The success of French series is confirming itself. After seven years of being dominated by American fiction, French series and TV films represented 82 of the 100 best ratings on TV in 2016,” said Frederique Bredin, president of the CNC.

The rise of the tax rebate for foreign productions from 20% to 30% in 2016 also contributed to boosting foreign spending on French soil. As much as €708.2 million ($751.3 million) was spent in France on fiction shows, compared to €605.9 million ($642.8 million) in 2015.

French investment in foreign shows also went up to €70.6 million ($74.9 million), although that figure is boosted by two minority French co-productions, “Ramson” and “The Collection.”

Taking into account all genres – animation, fiction, documentaries and live programming – free-to-air channels ramped up their investment significantly by 20.1% to €716.9 million ($760.6 million) in 2016.

Local DTT channels (digital terrestrial networks), which started booming in 2010 in France, accounted for 38.2% of the advertising market and 29.3% of TV audiences in 2016.

The CNC also noted the consolidation of the French TV landscape, which is increasingly dominated by large groups (TF1’s acquisition of Newen, and the merger of Banijay and Zodiak, for instance), and the rise of original programs initiated by TV channels and digital services.

The CNC also cited international sales as a growth area for TV programs.

The French animation sector continued to thrive in 2016, with a decade-record of 388 hours produced, a 36.1% year-on-year increase. TV channels spent €61.5 million ($65.2 million) on animated programs, a rise of 41.9% from 2015. Foreign investment in toon shows also climbed by 32.9% to €58 million ($61.5 million).


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