Top imported drama titles gain as others fade

Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
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CBS distributed Europe’s three most valuable imported drama series titles in 2012. NCIS led the pack by generating $205 million, according to the Top 100 Imported Drama Titles in Europe report. The three CSI franchises appear in the top 10. Only one of the top 10 titles (Sturm der Liebe) originated from outside the US. These rankings are based on the value created by each title for the broadcasters.

Top 10 Imported Drama Titles by value created in 2012

                                                      Total Value
    Title                           Distributor       ($ mil.)
    -----                           -----------       -----------
1   NCIS                            CBS               204.6
2   CSI: CRIME SCENE INVESTIGATION  CBS               188.0
3   CSI: MIAMI                      CBS               168.4
4   CRIMINAL MINDS                  DISNEY            161.8
5   CSI: NY                         CBS               124.6
6   HOW I MET YOUR MOTHER           20TH CENTURY FOX  122.2
7   MENTALIST, THE                  WARNER BROS       122.0
8   BIG BANG THEORY, THE            WARNER BROS       117.2
9   HOUSE M.D.                      NBC UNIVERSAL     101.9
10  STURM DER LIEBE                 GLOBAL SCREEN      93.2

Source: Essential Television Statistics, Madigan Cluff, Digital TV Research

Michael Cluff, co-author of the report, said: “Although the revenues delivered by imported drama [covering 1,677 titles] fell significantly in 2012 compared to 2011, the revenues of the top 20 titles rose by 7.5% to $2,152 million. With overall revenues to free-to-air channels falling, this suggests that the major dramas have pulled their weight, driving advertising and other revenue to prime slots on the major channels.”

Jonathan Bailey, co-author of the report, added: “Only 23% of hours screened for the top 100 titles appeared in primetime in 2012 [17,076 hours from 75,349 in total], although these titles contributed 63% of the total value which is up from a 59% share in 2008.”

Top 100 imported drama series value created by distributor in 2012 ($ million)

CBS, Disney, Warner, NBC Universal, Fox, Global Screen, Sony, All3Media, ZDF, ITV, Other

The top five distributors accounted for 64 of the top 100 titles by value created in 2012. CBS was the clear leader, with second-placed Disney some way behind.

However, the US companies are probably not as dominant as many people would have guessed. Indeed, sixth-placed Global Screen beat Sony by some distance. There are two German companies (Global Screen and ZDF Enterprises) and two British companies (All3Media and ITV Studios) in the top 10. All3Media takes eighth place with only one title – Midsomer Murders.

The Top 100 Imported Drama Titles in Europe report covers 119 channels (nearly all of which are free-to-air) across 21 territories.

Madigan Cluff has established program value by taking the combined annual net net advertising, license and public subsidy revenues for each channel profiled. These annual revenue figures were then split for each channel by hour and by month following the advertising rate card and other investment patterns established for the channel or similar channels in the same market. Channels that carry no advertising or that have advertising break patterns which do not extend across all transmission hours had their value allocated by using the most comparable channel available.

More: Top 100 Imported Drama Titles in Europe

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