Report: U.K. leads global formats market

FRAPA calls for increased intellectual property protection

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CANNES -- The U.K. is the biggest player in a global formats market worth $13.5 billion from 2006-08 according to a new country-by-country format analysis report published by the Format Recognition and Protection Assn. in Cannes on Wednesday.

The survey of the world's 14 biggest format exporting countries identified the U.S., Denmark, Norway and Sweden as the biggest format exporters after the U.K., and said the business has grown 45% since FRAPA's debut report in 2002-04, driven by such formats as "Big Brother," "Hole in the Wall" and "Got Talent."

Germany, Spain and Italy also ramped up their format production.

In all, some 445 original formats were exported during the two-year research project, almost double the 2002-04 tally, according to Ute Biernat, chairman of FRAPA and CEO of Grundy Light Entertainment. Biernat added that the scale of the format business made the need for intellectual property protection "more and more obvious."