Skip links
European film industry and the pandemic

European film production suffers in the pandemic

The European production of film and TV-series has suffered badly during the pandemic. The audiovisual sector in total lost more than 10% of its revenue last year compared to 2019 and close to 15% on-demand services, a report from the European Audiovisual Observatory shows.

“Although there’s a hint of consolidation in the European market, major mergers and acquisitions in recent years have been led by US players.”

The report says it is unlikely that recovery in 2021 can make the industry reach its 2019 activity level as covid likely will continue having an impact on production this year.

The original European production lost more than Euro 3 billion for the EU 27 member countries and Euro 2 billion if you exclude sports.

“Although there’s a hint of consolidation in the European market, major mergers and acquisitions in recent years have been led by US players.”


Prior to the pandemic, revenues of the top 100 companies active in the European audiovisual market grew by 4.6% annually between 2014 and 2019 which is faster than the European audiovisual market more broadly (1.6%), but significantly slower than the top 50 companies worldwide (15%).

Private and public television groups have experienced very different trajectories, the report shows.  While private groups’ revenues increased on average by 7% a year, their public equivalents saw a stagnation in revenues (0.1% a year), i.e., in real terms, a decrease of revenues.


“Public groups therefore now comprise a lower share of top 100 companies’ revenues, dropping from 38% in 2014 to 31% in 2019.”

Television groups based in the United Kingdom, Germany and France account for 56% of total revenue generated by the top 100 companies.

Players whose networks deliver a mix of telephony, Internet access and audiovisual services account for about 28% of top 100 total revenue. Among the private groups, companies controlled by US-based interests outperformed their Europe-based competitors with 11.6% growth per year.


“Takeovers of European TV groups by US companies plus the explosive growth of US-controlled subscription video on demand services explain why the share of Europe’s top 100 companies by revenue captured by US-based groups increased from 19% in 2014 to 26% in 2019, significantly boosted by the takeover by Comcast of pay TV provider Sky”, the report says.

“Other leading US-controlled companies active in Europe include Netflix, Discovery Communications, Amazon, and Viacom, with more than Euro 1 billion in revenues each. Excluding the public service broadcasters, the revenue share of US interests in Europe reaches 37%, with Sky alone accounting for 21%.”


A total of 1165 production companies or groups produced at least one TV fiction title in Europe between 2015 and 2019, but only 8% were active in each of the five years. Meanwhile, 94% of companies produced one or two titles in that period. And 471 companies were active in the production of TV fiction in 2019.

The top 15 companies accounted for 37% of TV fiction titles and 52% of hours produced between 2015 and 2019. German ARD alone produced 7% of European TV fiction titles in the five-year period, and Luxembourg-based RTL Group provided 9% of total TV fiction hours produced in Europe between 2015 and 2019

Moonshot News is an independent European news website for all IT, Media and Advertising professionals, powered by women and with a focus on driving the narrative for diversity, inclusion and gender equality in the industry.

Our mission is to provide top and unbiased information for all professionals and to make sure that women get their fair share of voice in the news and in the spotlight!

We produce original content, news articles, a curated calendar of industry events and a database of women IT, Media and Advertising associations.

    Do you want an experienced opinion on a job issue?
    Moonshot Manager is here to answer!

      Moonshot community sharing thoughts and ideas, in a anonymous, safe environment.