TV formats earn E9.3bn

From Colin Mann in Cannes

International trade association FRAPA – the Format Recognition and Protection Association – has revealed the findings of its most recent in-depth study of the formats industry. The research – FRAPA Report 2009 – TV Formats to the World – compiled in association with the global TV research agency The WIT and analyst firm TV Sisters – covers 14 countries (Argentina, Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, The Netherlands, Spain, UK, USA and three Nordic countries, Denmark, Norway and Sweden).

Formats such as ‘Deal or No Deal’, ‘Hole in the Wall’ and ‘Lalola’ travel around the world inspiring millions of people, says FRAPA, which reports that 445 original formats found their way to foreign countries from 2006 to 2008. The number nearly doubled from the first report made on behalf of FRAPA, which analysed the formats traded from 2002 to 2004.

The production volume generated by traded formats has grown to E9.3 billion for the years 2006 to 2008. This represents an increase of 45 per cent in comparison to the first report. The UK still leads in the number of exported formats, followed by the USA, The Netherlands and Argentina. Countries such as Germany, Spain and Italy started to improve their format business with promising results already in evidence. Even Japan, a self-sufficient giant, is showing a growing interest in the format trade.

Ute Biernat, Chairman of FRAPA and CEO of Grundy Light Entertainment, says the report shows the impact of the format business on the media industry and the relevance of the protection of format rights, "which becomes more and more obvious."

Future editions of the study will bring in findings from Eastern European and Asian markets. "The growing importance of formats will be reflected at MIPTV 2010, where we will introduce targeted conferences, pitching sessions and other events," confirmed Laurine Garaude, acting Television Director at Reed MIDEM.

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