License fees: The Cost of FremantleMedia and Talpa Formats
Price information is usually a trade secret, but in some cases broadcasters have legal obligation to reveal them. We analyse deals of major format distributors in certain CEE market where information about license fees are made public by broadcaster.
License fees vary - they are calculated with respect to market size, territory, competition and production size among others. This article covers Slovakia, which is small-sized market in CEE territory with population of 5.4 million, public broadcaster and two major private competitors, one of them owned by Central European Media Enterprises (CME). There is a demand for local scripted show developed independently and prime time talent competition formats ('The Voice', 'Got Talent', 'Idols'). Pubcaster RTVS offeres general programming on main channel Jednotka.
License fees for formats sold to Slovak pubcaster RTVS:
'I Love My Country' by Talpa: € 33,157.89 per 20 hours
In March 2013 RTVS signed a deal with Talpa and obtained format rights to local version of prime time entertainment show 'I Love My Country'. The format had a proven success in various CEE countries but it was about to mark its debut in Slovakia. Broadcaster paid € 37,578.95 for the volume of 20 hours (2 runs with quick repeat within 24 hours valid for one year). In September 2013 RTVS ordered second season of the show at license fee of € 33,157.89 per 20 hours.
'What do I Know?!' by Talpa: € 79,568.38 per 20 hours
Latest RTVS/Talpa deal is from February 2014 when public broadcaster acquired format right to another entertainment show 'What do I Know?!'. It originates in The Netherlands, is newer than 'I Love My Country' and has only been sold to Belgium and France so far. Slovak broadcaster should pay € 79,568.38 license fee for the total volume of 20 hours (1 prime-time run with 2 repeats out of prime-time from 20:00-24:00). Local adaptation is currently in pre-production phase.
'Family Feud' by FremantleMedia: Up to € 2,000 per episode
Daily access game-show 'Family Feud' was first contracted in Slovakia in 2007. Pubcaster RTVS paid these fees in recent years:
- Series 3 (signed in September 2011): € 140,000 per 200 daily episodes with a maximum length of 40 minutes net for each episode (2 original broadcasts in 17:00-23:00 slot plus streaming internet rights for a period of up to 30 days after transmission) - on average € 700 per episode
- Series 4 (signed in August 2012): € 18,000 per 18 episodes (€ 1,000 per episode). The deal was later supplemented by bigger one, but details are not public
- Series 5 (signed in September 2013, biggest deal with longer license period of over 2 years): € 304,000 per 276 daily episodes with a maximum length of 40 minutes net for each episode and 14 special episodes with a maximum length of 60 minutes for each episode (2 original broadcasts in 17:00-23:00 slot plus streaming internet rights for a period of up to 30 days after transmission). It means license fee of € 1,000 per daily episode and € 2,000 per special episode
'To Tell the Truth' by FremantleMedia: € 80,000 per 40 episodes
In 2011 FremantleMedia sold also prime-time enternainment format 'To Tell the Truth' to Slovakia. RTVS paid a total fee of € 80,000 per 40 weekly episodes with a maximum length of sixty minutes net for each episode (€ 2,000 per episode). The deal included two original broadcasts in 17:00-23:00 timeslot and 30 days streaming video rights.
All deals were exclusive for the territory of Slovakia. All prices exclude taxes and production cost.