Public broadcasters driving Germany's original content market
Germany's publicly-funded broadcasters continue to set the content agenda in Europe's biggest TV market, accounting for half of all investment in content. Public-funded broadcasters, ARD and ZDF, spend the most on content out of the EU Big 5 public broadcasters with a combined spend exceeding €4bn in 2018. By comparison, The BBC accounts for just 17% of UK total content spend while Italy's Rai accounts for 13% and Spain's RTVE, 17% of total content investment. The only other major European market to come close is France, where France Télévisions accounts for 39% of all content investment in the country. The key role of public broadcasting in Germany is also reflected in the commissioning of original content. Germany's ZDF is the one of the largest commissioners of content among public broadcasters in Europe, with 65 shows currently in production or development. ARD has a further 20 shows in the works. Commercial broadcast groups RTL and ProsiebenSat1 and pay TV operator Sky have just 25 shows in production between them. ZDF is also a major driver for European co-production with 18 of its upcoming shows being co-produced. Expenditure on content in Germany increased 8% year-on-year in 2018 due to an increase in spend on sports (2018 FIFA World Cup and increased value of Bundesliga rights) and originated content. Investment in original content has always been high for the German public broadcasters and RTL, while ProSiebenSat.1 has rapidly increased its original content spend since 2015. Sky Deutschland was late to enter into the original content market in Germany, releasing its first series ‘Babylon Berlin’ in 2017. It has since been ramping up its original production, releasing three more series and commissioning an additional two series.
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