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Europe’s economic pressures have badly affected TV production in countries like France, Spain and Italy. A recent report from IHS Technology which specifically focused on France, says that the country’s ad market, already extremely fragile and having been in decline now for three years, is set to contract another 1 per cent this year and this will impact the cash available for production.
IHS says all the leading broadcasting groups have cut back the cash they can spend on original production, despite – in many cases – State help in funding new shows.
IHS adds that the French TV market is recovering from the recession more slowly than most other major countries. “Of the four leading TV groups – private broadcasters TF1 and M6, public broadcaster France Televisions and Vivendi-backed Canal Plus Grp – only C+ increased revenues overall last year despite its core pay-TV business declining.”
The IHS research, led by Tim Westcott, says that overall French TV advertising has declined by 4.5 per cent in both 2012 and 2013. Some broadcasters suffered even more, with TF1 Group seeing a 5 per cent decline last year.
TF1 itself is in the middle of a cost-reduction exercise to cut €22 million from its programming budget last year and another €10 million this year. TF1 last year spent €947.6 million on programming, down 3.4 per cent on 2013, and this year’s spend is likely to be down another 5 per cent says IHS.