“DSDS”, the “Today Show”, “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?”: A large part of German television entertainment takes place in North Rhine-Westphalia. A new study seems to show dominance – but the corona shock is tough.
North Rhine-Westphalia remains Germany’s largest TV country, but is struggling with the consequences of the corona crisis for its TV industry. In 2018 – well before the pandemic – producers based in NRW had around 285,200 production minutes, as can be seen from a comparative study by the Dortmund Formatt Institute conducted by media scientist Horst Röper. That was not quite the peak of around 313,400 production minutes from 2016, but it meant a strong market share of 38 percent. Bavaria (192,500 minutes), Berlin (89,100 minutes) and – increasingly falling behind – Hamburg (68,000 minutes) are clearly behind NRW.
One reason for dominance: entertainment. When a show or documentary soap flickers across the screen in German television, heads from NRW are often behind it. The study puts the market share in entertainment at almost 55 percent. Bavaria, for example, cannot keep up with this, but it is at the forefront in fictional formats – for example in films and series. The study recorded contract productions. In-house productions by television broadcasters are not taken into account.
2017 and 2018 were “proud years” for the production industry, said media scientist Röper on Monday in Cologne. At the same time, the step back in time two years ago is a daring one. “Of course we will not experience it this way this year,” he said about 2020. The corona pandemic will lead to a “significant slump”.
38 percent market share
The TV industry was hit hard by the crisis, productions had to be interrupted or could not be shot at all. Many companies and the self-employed have not received any orders in the past few months, explained the head of the state chancellery responsible for the media, Nathanael Liminski. Contact restrictions and hygiene regulations would have made new productions extremely difficult. After the restrictions had largely been lifted, the aim now was to minimize the risk for producers.
The concrete problem: A single corona infection on the set can shut down a running shoot for quite some time. According to Liminski, this case is still too great a risk for many producers. The insurance cover is missing, and insurance against pandemic risk is currently not covered by any insurance. The result: Although the industry wants to work again and there is money, there is no turning.
The state government is therefore promoting Liminski’s statements to extend the default fund for cinema films and high-end series announced by the federal government to include television productions. If the federal government is unable to decide, the state will “take care of it itself,” said the head of the state chancellery. NRW will mobilize 10 million euros in any case.
“Now it’s about how we can get the film and television industry back on track.”
- Camera filming: © gnepphoto – stock.adobe.com