French television exports – sales, presales and coproductions – reached a record high of €336 million (US$405.2 million) in 2016, a year-on-year increase of 32%, according to a report by the Centre National du Cinéma et de L’image Animée (CNC).
Animation is the leading genre for French exports and accounted for 40% of international sales, rising up to €75 million for 2016. Examples of international hits include Zorro the Chronicles, which sold in Europe and Asia, Pat the Dog (North and Latin America among others) and Trotro (USA, Japan, Europe and the Middle-East).
Sales of fiction increased by 21% to €50 million, with series such as Call My Agent, Versailles and The Bureau clocking up deals.
Documentary sales registered their second highest results ever with over €35 million. Face to Face, Dream the Future and The Terror Studio are examples of docs sold internationally.
Despite the increasing number and diversity of players in the digital world, traditional broadcasters still remain the largest buyers of French TV programmes, according to the report.
VOD platforms are increasingly hungry for French content, though. They accounted for 20.4% of all French sales in 2016, double their share of the previous year.
In the last three years, the CNC has initiated measures to boost exports of animation, fiction and documentaries.
“All our support schemes now include some support for exports,” said Frédérique Bredin, president at CNC. “I also launched an export plan with double the amount of financing to boost exports of French production worldwide.”
Hervé Michel (pictured), the president of TV France international, said: “Amidst severe international competition, TV France International is proud to be a key player of the unique support mechanisms for exports that the French authorities – CNC in particular – have implemented.
“We support and help exporters in their daily work, notably with Le Rendez-Vous, the French Screenings which will be held next week in Biarritz on September 10-14.”