France's TV exports increase, presales drop

Sales to overseas channels up 3% over 2007

PARIS -- French television program exports grew marginally last year, but presales of Gallic programming fell back, according to figures released Thursday.

Sales of completed French-made programs to overseas channels in 2007 inched up by just over 3% to 119 million euros ($166 million), according to the annual study by the Center National de la Cinematographie and TV France International, France's exporter body.

Presales, however, dropped back by 19% to 34 million euros ($47 million), dragging the combined sales figures down by nearly 3% compared with 2006.

International sales of documentaries climbed 6% to just over 30 million euros ($42 million), while drama was stable at 22 million euros ($30.7 million). Gallic animation sales dipped slightly to 42 million euros ($58.5 million), the second consecutive year that cartoon exports are down, which the study says reflects the intense competition in this sector.

Continental Europe remains the primary outlet for French programming, accounting for three-quarters of all sales. French program sales into North America were down last year by 27% to 10.3 million euros ($14.4 million).

The value of international co-productions involving French producers saw a slight bounce in 2007 of 4% to 64 million euros ($89 million), mainly involving partners in Western Europe and Asia.

The figures were released to coincide with TVFI's annual French programming showcase for international buyers held in the town of Biarritz, southwest France.