The latest export stats for French TV programming shows sales to international markets were up 8% to €137.1 million in 2013, setting an all-time record.
Monitored by French funding body CNC and exporters’ association TVFI and released at le Rendez-vous in Biarritz, the global figures settle at €173.5 million once presales and coproduction sales are included. This is the highest level since the €209.3 million recorded in 2001.
Presales revenue increased 8% year-on-year, reaching €42.4 million last year, while coproduction investment dipped by 9.2%, taking the total to €69.5 million. The copro dip was attributed to the fact that “no new season of a French international drama series besides Crossing Lines, was launched last year” TVFI and CNC point out.
Overall, French companies sold 67,000 TV hours, up 50 %, which also means that small, lower-value, deals have increased.
By genre, animation still drives French exports. In 2013 overall revenue reached €73.3 million, including €47 million for international sales, which were up 6.7 %.
Animation represents 34.2% of all sales. Following are documentary (€40.2 million), drama (€31.3 million) and formats (€22.1 million).
Key programmes for exports were drama series The Returned (pictured) and Braquo from Zodiak Rights, short programming Dear Neighbours, from LE Rights and animated adult series The Darwiners, from Mediatoon.
Geographically, despite new emerging markets in Asia and the Middle East, Europe remains the top client for French TV productions, accounting for 66.9% of sales.
Western Europe showed an upturn in activity last year, up 25.6 %, with southern countries like Italy and Spain coming back, notably with the DTT channels in buying mode. German-speaking territories are the biggest buyers of French TV exports, ahead of Belgium.
TVFI noted a downturn in activity in Central and Eastern Europe, in territories like Russia and Ukraine, as well as North America, which still remains the second biggest importer, and returned to more stable export levels after an exceptional 2012.
The digital market starts becoming a real outlet and growth, with companies having increased their new platform revenues by 20-25% over the last five years.