U.K. tops Euro league for TV content buying
Europe's content acquisitions market worth $4.9 billionLONDON -- Europe's content acquisitions market was worth £3.2 billion ($4.9 million) last year, according to new research from London-based analyst Content Economics Research published Thursday.
The survey found that British broadcasters topped the league, spending an estimated £650 million ($1 billion) on licensed programming like "Lost," "CSI" and "House," as well as a slew of format deals like "Britain's Next Top Model."
Topping the list of studio distributors are Warner Bros. and Disney, while the BBC's commercial licensing division BBC Worldwide was the lead European distributor.
Content prices plummeted during the recession as free-to-air broadcasters scaled back spending, but the outlook for 2010 "is a little more positive," the report said.
However, Hollywood's export power is too heavily weighted around too few ageing franchises, and the next generation of clear winners is not yet visible, the report warns.
"Hollywood has become rather reliant on its older hits, which have either just finished, like '24' and 'Lost,' or are becoming rather tired, like 'Desperate Housewives' and 'House'," the report said.
"Due to the 2007/08 Writers' Strike and the downturn in original commissions, combined with a, perhaps related, decline in creativity, Hollywood has struggled to find the next must-have $1.5 million-an-episode drama."