Warner Bros the largest importer of TV series into Europe

New research reveals that Warner Bros is the largest importer of drama series into Europe. The company’s distribution arm shopped more hours of TV drama to European broadcasters last year than any of its rivals, according to data from Essential Television Statistics, Madigan Cluff and Digital TV Research.

The research outfits’ report into imported TV drama reveals that the market was worth almost US$6 billion last year.

Warner Bros was the largest distributor of primetime imported drama series into Europe in 2010, providing 17% of the total and delivering 4,886 hours of programming (see chart). CBS took second place with 16% of the total, with Disney third with 14%. NBC Universal was fourth, some way ahead of Fox, which was in turn some distance in front of Sony.

Despite not being the top distributor, CBS Studios is the programme seller with the most entries in the roster of top ten programmes when the measure is the total number of primetime hours transmitted in the big five European markets.

CBS’ procedural NCIS was the show with the most hours in prime across the big five and its juggernaut CSI franchise accounted for its other three entries with the original beating the New York and Miami-based iterations of the series.

US network ABC has cancelled Desperate Housewives, but the soap was Disney’s top entry, underlining the importance of replacing the hit show. Crime series Castle was Disney’s other entry. Warner Bros.’ three entries were also crime offerings: Cold Case in fourth, Without a Trace in sixth and The Mentalist in eigth. NBC’s entry was medical drama House.

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