The Finance of Formats

European broadcasters gained US$2.75 billion in 2012 from the 100 top format titles.




The TV Formats in Europe report covers 84 channels across 16 territories and shows that the 2012 figure was 5.3% up on the 2011 total and 20.1% up if you go back to 2009. Correspondingly, the number of hours broadcast reached 26,235 in 2012, up by 27.5% on 2009.

Michael Cluff, co-author and director at Madigan Cluff, says: “The UK remains the largest market by value for TV formats in Europe by some distance. The value of formats for UK broadcasters was US$655 million in 2012. The UK, France, Germany and Italy together accounted for three-quarters of Europe’s total value in 2012. These values are the financial benefit that broadcasters receive from screening these formats – whether it comes in the form of ad revenues or as a proportion of license fee income.”

The top 10 broadcasters accounted for 65% of the total value created in Europe for 2012 and the remaining third was shared by 74 channels. France’s TF1 (US$283 million) led the pack, followed by BBC1 and Rai 1. Spain’s Antena 3 has also enjoyed a rapid ascent, and ranked seventh in 2012.

The increase in hours substantially exceeds the increase in value generated, which results partly from declines in advertising sourced revenues, especially in Southern Europe, but is also affected from the main growth in format hours coming outside primetime and on secondary channels.

The total number of format hours broadcast in Europe was 26,235 in 2012, up by 19% on 2011. The UK (4,295 hours) was the leader again, despite its 2012 total being considerably lower than in 2009 and 2010. Format hours rose substantially in Denmark during 2011 and 2012.

By broadcaster, Denmark’s Kanal 5 screened the most format hours in 2012 – almost 1,000 hours more than in 2011 – taking the daily average to 4.4 hours.

The UK’s Channel 4 and sister channel More 4 took the next two places in 2012 despite Big Brother transferring to Channel 5 in 2011. Spain’s Antena 3 was fourth, having more than doubled its formats hours since 2009.

Jonathan Bailey, co-author and managing director at Essential Television Statistics says: “About 36% of the format hours screened in 2012 appeared in primetime. The proportion varies quite dramatically from one country to the next: from 67.9% in northern Belgium and 15.2% in Russia.”

The top three distributors accounted for half of the format hours screened in 2012. ITV Studios (5,425 hours) was the largest distributor by hours, mainly due to the continuing success of Come Dine with Me. FremantleMedia (supplier of 13 titles in the top 100 and 4,231 hours in total) and Endemol (12 titles, 3,316 hours) followed.

However, Endemol (US$711 million – 26% of the total) was the leading distributor by value created in 2012, followed by FremantleMedia (US$456 million – 17%). ITV was third, with 10% of the total. So, these three distributors combined took 53% of the total.

Relative newcomer Money Drop was the top title by value created in 2012; pushing Come Dine With Me into second place. Another newcomer The Voice entered the top 10 in 2012. Who Wants to Be a Millionaire was the top title in both 2009 and 2010, but had dropped to ninth in 2012.

Simon Murray, co-author and principal analyst at Digital TV Research adds: “The formats business has continued to succeed by growing volume primetime on major channels and despite the challenging environment for advertising and licence fee income across Europe.”

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