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Euro production spend topped €12b in 2008, but falling in 2009

Across Europe, the total investment in original production topped €12 billion in 2008, but will fall this year as broadcasters suffering in the face of the advertising downturn reign in programming budgets, according to new research.

The research, from Content Economics, shows that Germany was the single largest investor in original commissions last year, with its production spend coming in at €3.1 billion. The UK was second, but Content Economics noted that the UK content business is in ‘poor health’ and investment has been declining for several years across the main free-to-air terrestrials.

The 2009 figures will lag those from 2008 as broadcasters slash programming budgets in response to the economic crisis. Many of Europe’s largest free-to-air broadcasters, including ITV, RTL, TF1, proSiebenSat.1 and Antena 3, have introduced cost-saving measures this year.

“Viewers around the world have already started to notice that there are an increasing number of repeat programmes on TV,” said Content Economics’ James Healey. “This is likely to be a long term trend as broadcasters reduce their programming costs.”