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French channels investing less in drama

Drama remains the mainstay of French TV schedules but broadcasters are investing less in the genre, new research shows.

French broadcaster investment in drama was down 6% last year.

Overall, the terrestrial networks, DTT and cabsat channels injected €487.3 million into drama according to a study from NPA Conseil, based on figures from National Center for Cinematography (CNC). The 2006 figure was €518.4 million.

TF1 and Canal+ both upped their drama spend last year but M6 and France 2 cut back.

TF1 spent €160 million on drama last year, rising to €230 million factoring in productions from subsidiaries. Canal+ spent 33% more year-on -year as its investment reached €43 million.

But there were severe cuts at M6. According to NPA figures M6’s drama investment in 2007 was €21 million compared with €38 million a year earlier. However, the group noted that these figures did not take into account some newly launched series, which will be factored in to the 2008 numbers.

Locally produced and acquired drama still accounts for an average of 17.7% all programming on French networks and viewers spend 25.2 % of their TV viewing time watching fiction programming.