Leakage of talents, battle for rights … TV questions its future

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(AFP) – “Leakage of talents”, battle for rights … Despite many successes for French fiction, the TV channels continue to seek the parade of platforms like Netflix and others, while collaborating more and more with these giants with “very deep pockets”.

Update on the questions raised this week at the Fiction festival of La Rochelle.

Encouraging successes

Local productions are still popular: in 2020, no more foreign series appears in the classification of 20 best TV audiences for fiction, according to a CSA study.

And in 2021, TF1 has returned to scores never seen for 15 thanks to “HPI”. The series worn by Audrey Fleurot “has just been sold in 15 countries” and negotiations are underway for an adaptation in the United States , welcomed the group’s CEO, Gilles Pélisson, during a debate bringing together channel managers, authors and producers.

At Arte, we are delighted with the phenomenon “In Therapy “(53 millions of views on arte.tv), while the president of France Télévisions, Delphine Ernotte, proclaims her” pride “to see” Laëtitia “by Jean-Xavier de Lestrade broadcast on the prestigious American channel HBO.

Leak of talents

“We are living a good period for creation”, according to Delphine Ernotte.

But it You have to deal with actors who “have extremely deep pockets” and the means to attract creators, explained Gilles Pélisson. “Many screenwriters and directors” told him during the festival that they were not available for TF1 because they “worked” for Netflix or Amazon. “We are in a scarcity of talent,” he said, praising TF1’s strategy of bringing out new ones thanks to its daily soap operas (“Here everything begins” and “Tomorrow belongs to us”).

The public service is also worried about seeing its talents “privatized”. “We always quote Fanny Herrero, the great show-runner, (series director), of + Ten percent + who is under Netflix contract”, recalls Delphine Ernotte.

Battle of rights

It is also difficult to keep control of its nuggets. Currently on Disney +, “In therapy” was “thought, developed with the help of Arte”, recalled the president of the Franco-German channel Bruno Patino, who would have liked to rebroadcast it “not only online but also to the ‘antenna’ on the occasion of the trial of the 13 November, backdrop to the series.

“When a producer seeks a second window (for broadcasting) with a platform, it is because he is not sufficiently funded”, replies producer Nora Melhli.

“The future is the exploitation of digital rights”, summed up France Télé number 2, Stéphane Sitbon-Gomez, during a press briefing.

Serial partnerships

Despite everything, partnerships with platforms are multiplying: France Télévisions is preparing an action series, “Black hearts”, with Amazon. Arte co-produced in association with Netflix “The world of tomorrow”, on the youth of NTM.

And the TF1 series “A French affair” will be broadcast on the American platform Starzplay, and not on Salto, which it nevertheless launched with France Télévisions and M6.

After the “Bazar de la charité”, TF1 is planning a new series with Netflix, “Les combatantes “, located during the First World War. “We went from” budgets of “53. 00 To 800.000 euros the episode “to” more than 2 million or even 3 million euros (…) and it shows on the screen “, explains Gilles Pélisson.

Hailed by the entire sector, the new funding obligations for French creation imposed on platforms could bring in between 1.2 and 1.5 billion euros (cinema and audiovisual combined) by 2023, according to a study by NPA Conseil, specialized in the media.

response TF1-M6

The leaders of TF1 and M6 again defended the plan to merge their two channels. “We will need strong, solid actors, who will both be present in the linear (traditional television) but also in streaming”, argued Gilles Pélisson.

But for the boss of Canal +, Maxime Saada, this project “poses risks to the local French ecosystem” without “responding to the global problem of competition”.

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