Intl. TV Newswire: French TV Post-COVID, ‘The Rookie’ Sells, Studiocanal Goes Nova

The Rookie

In this week’s International TV Newswire Ampere provides a post-COVID forecast in France, “The Rookie” keeps selling for eOne, French content spend is analyzed in a new study, Arrow International Media’s software gets smarter, it’s all Greek to Studiocanal and NENT Studios gets a new CEO.

France Takes Two COVID-19 Hits, But SVOD Bulwarks Numbers

France is reopening after, one hopes, the worst of COVID-19. But how much is it recovering? An Ampere Analysis study, French Content Market: Spend and Commissioning Strategies doubled down on COVID-19 Impact on TV Revenues, and fundamentals on the Gallic TV scene. Many will be echoed in other countries.

Linear TV advertising and theatrical revenues have been heavily impacted by the crisis, said Lea Cunat, the first dropping from €3.3 ($3.6 billion) billion in 2019, to an estimated €2.9 billion ($3.2 billion) for the year, the second from €1.3 billion ($) to a predicted €0.8 billion ($0.9 billion). In contrast, 2020 pay TV revenues and public TV income will be flat, compared to 2019, at €5.0 billion ($5.4 billion) and €2.5 billion ($2.7 billion). Subscription OTT, France’s biggest growth driver, will soar from €0.7 billion ($0.8 billion) to €1.0 billion ($1.1 billion), overtaking theatrical receipts.

That spike is also seen in consumer trends: In third quarter 2018, a third of French households had a subscription OTT service. The figure rose to getting on for two thirds (61%) Q1 2020. But that doesn’t mean that SVOD is replacing pay TV. 50% of internet users in France take both.

Despite COVID-19, the study was upbeat about various fundamentals. Regarding original production, French TV groups’ content spend will only edge down this year to €2.2 billion ($2.4 billion), from €2.3 billion ($2.5 billion) in 2019, said Cunat. Thorpe detailed players’ shifts in content focus, and their play for a younger audience in cone and distribution formats. Whatever the changes, and despite COVID-19, at €13.8 billion ($15.0 billion) content spend in France for 2020 will be on a par with 2018, Ampere Analysis suggested. The U.K.’s, Germany’s and Spain’s, of Europe’s big five markets, will actually edge up this year compared to two years ago. Audiovisual, despite pandemic, remains a growth industry.

Entertainment One Passes 180 Territories Sold for ABC’s “The Rookie”

Hit ABC series “The Rookie,” starring four-time Emmy-nominated actor Nathan Fillion (“Firefly”) and co-produced by eOne and ABC Studios, has now been licensed by Entertainment One to more than 180 territories worldwide. As a Season 3 commission was confirmed by ABC, eOne announced recent sales to Wowow in Japan and TV2 in Norway. “The Rookie” has become an international hit so far, reaching record high audiences in multiple territories including the U.K. – the highest-rated show of the week across all Sky channels; Spain – TNT’s No. 1 drama series of 2020, up 33% from Season 1; and Canada on CTV.

Studiocanal Sings Greek First Run Deal in with Nova

Greek pay TV platform Nova and Studiocanal have entered into a new exclusive first run agreement that grants Nova the rights to several high-end Studiocanal series on an exclusive basis in both Greece and Cyprus. Among the included series are “Zerozerozero,” starring Gabriel Byrne; “Years and Years,” featuring Oscar-winner Emma Thompson and Rory Kinnear and produced by Studiocanal’s Red Production Company with BBC One and HBO; Tandem Productions’ “Shadowplay,” created by “Midnight Sun’s” Måns Mårlind; “Possessions” from Haut et Court TV and Israel’s Quiddity; and, in link up with Spain, Movistar Plus-Bambu Producciones co-production “On Death Row.” The deal also includes on demand right, meaning the programs will also be available on the broadcaster’s Nova Go streaming service.

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ZeroZeroZero Courtesy of Rosa Hadit/Amazon Studios

NENT Studios Promotes Alexander Bastin to SVP, CEO

NENT Studios CCO and VP of Viaplay Alexander Bastin has been promoted to senior VP and CEO of NENT Studios, the production, events and distribution arm of the Stockholm-based broadcaster entertainment company. Bastin will work internally and with external partners to continue filling the company’s production pipeline of premium drama series, films and documentaries commissioned for its Viaplay streaming service. Morten Mogensen, current senior VP and head of NENT Studios Nordics and Central and Eastern Europe, will join him on the new leadership team and handle oversight of divestment from non-scripted, branded entertainment and events. Available in five countries and a high-volume producer, Viaplay boasts more than 80 originals already premiered or in production titles such as “The Machinery,” which premiered May 24 to a record number of streamers, and “Wisting,” which sold to BBC Four in the U.K., a benchmark sales territory for Scandinavian series.

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Wisting Banijay Rights

Arrow Employs GrayMeta AI Software to Optimize Catalog Usage

Arrow International Media and intelligent metadata solutions company GrayMeta have pacted on a new artificial intelligence deal to help the U.K.-based production company maximize the potential of its currently unused catalog content. Arrow will employ AI software GrayMeta Curio Platform to log 70,000 minutes of unused catalog content. The program saves time and costs by making videos, images and documents easier to search, locate and use. According to Arrow managing director Iain Pelling, COVID-19’s restrictions on filming have made archival content even more important for broadcasters.