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France Télévisions forges programming alliance with ZDF

France Télévisions and Rai are to forge an alliance with ZDF that will encompass co-production, with the first projects to be unveiled at the Series Mania event in Lille on Thursday.

Delphine Ernotte

The pact with Germany’s ZDF marks an extension of the alliance formed between the French and Italia public broadcasters last June, when the pair agreed to co-produce a range of high-end programmes across genres including drama, documentaries, animation and general entertainment for the international market in order to combat the growing power of international digital players such as Netflix.

Announcing the new agreement alongside French culture minister Françoise Thyssen at the launch of the Series Mania Village du Festival in Lille, France Télévisions director-general Delphine Ernotte said that the alliance was “long-term project” that would deliver “concrete projects”, some of which would be unveiled as early as this week.

Ernotte said that such alliances were crucial if European broadcasters are to take on the might of companies like Netflix.

Ernotte also welcomed the agreement reached between European Union institutions last week that will see subscription video-on-demand providers obliged to maintain a quota of 30% works of European origin in their catalogues. Ernotte paid tribute to Thyssen as having played an instrumental role by working to secure this decision.

The EU agreement was also welcomed by French copyright collecting society SACD, which said it laid the groundwork for a regulatory framework that was favourable to European content creation.

SACD welcomed the 30% quota for European works and the power that will be granted to governments to oblige SVOD players with services available in Europe to contribute to European content creation.