New research project in collaboration with SMIT shows export potential as well as fragility of Flemish TV drama

SMIT researcher Tim Raats contributed to a recent study by Econopolis that analyzed the sustainability of the audiovisual sector in Flanders and an evaluation of existing support mechanisms (co-authored by Geert Wellens, Dirk Wauters and Jan Bouly). The study highlighted the large volume of TV drama productions in Flanders, and its existing talent and professionalism, but at the same time warned about the fragility of audiovisual ecosystem. Factors affecting that sustainability are, aside from public budget cut-backs, shifted media use (younger audiences migrating to new platforms) and most importantly, increased ad-skipping, which puts significant pressure on investments of free-to-air broadcasters (SBS, Medialaan) in original content in Flanders, especially in very expensive genres such as high-end TV drama. The study furthermore emphasizes the crucial role of the Media fund (Mediafonds) in supporting TV series, documentary series and animation series. The report shows a direct uptake in productions, ratings of TV fiction and export capabilities since the ‘Mediafonds’ was established. In order to make our fragile ecosystem more successful and to increase export capabilities of Flemish TV drama, the Media Fund requires higher budgets to fully play its role as lever. It furthermore needs to prioritize high-quality screenwriting, amongst others by professionalizing follow-up of proposals and organizing professional training for screenwriters. The study highlighted the momentum of developing mechanisms, following the example of measures proposed in Germany and France, to involve new players such as Netflix in investing in original Flemish content. De study can be found here

Created by Juan Vasquez on 24/03/2017