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El crecimiento dinámico ha impulsado a la industria audiovisual checa a alcanzar unos ingresos récord en 2022
por Martin Kudláč
En un contexto mundial de incertidumbre, el sector audiovisual checo emergió como una potencia floreciente, registrando unos ingresos récord en 2022
Este artículo está disponible en inglés.
The Czech audiovisual sector experienced its second consecutive year of dynamic growth in 2022, hitting a record revenue of CZK 15.4 billion (€639.7 million), according to the latest report by the Czech Association of Audiovisual Producers. This steady recovery, post-COVID, is largely attributed to foreign productions, which now account for almost 73% of the total industry turnover, marking an increase from CZK 8.73 billion (€361.3 million) in 2021 to CZK 11.25 billion (€467.3 million) in 2022.
Though international ventures hold the largest slice of the revenue pie, the most significant year-on-year growth was noted in the advertising sector. The overall advertising turnover saw an impressive 30% rise compared to 2021, soaring from CZK 1.86 billion (€77.3 million) to CZK 2.45 billion (€101.82 million). Local productions also witnessed a promising uptick, climbing from CZK 1.26 billion (€52.3 million) to CZK 1.73 billion (€71.9 million).
The notable surge in foreign productions’ turnover and their economic contribution to the Czech Republic is directly tied to increased incentives for film projects. The country’s incentive system, currently closed since the start of the year, ensures that 40% of every crown spent stays within Czech public budgets.
The Czech audiovisual industry traditionally includes both audience-driven and arthouse projects, gaining popularity among local viewers while establishing a strong presence on international markets. This balance has given the industry a unique position in Central Europe and globally, which was “made possible by the Czech Film Fund, investments in the television and VoD market, and the excellent work of independent producers” states the Czech Association of Audiovisual Producers.
The Czech Republic became a filming hub for international filmmakers due to its early adoption of COVID-19 rules allowing for safe shooting. As a result, interest in filming did not wane even as the pandemic wound down in 2022. High-profile production companies such as MGM, Lionsgate, Netflix, and Apple TV+ have taken advantage of this situation, along with filmmakers from Germany and Scandinavia.
Among the standout foreign productions filmed in the country in 2022 were Netflix’s most-watched original film, Extraction 2 (see the news), the second season of the sci-fi series Foundation for Apple TV+, and the spin-off of the Hollywood blockbuster John Wick titled Ballerina starring Keanu Reeves. HBO’s series Dune, which initially planned to spend CZK 2 billion (€83.19 million) in the Czech Republic, moved to Hungary due to the frozen incentives.
The domestic box office recorded almost a 100% year-on-year increase, with revenues hitting CZK 2.11 billion (€87.73 million). The number of viewers saw a notable rise from 7.14 million to 13.49 million admissions, marking a partial return to normalcy for Czech cinema in terms of both domestic attendance and international film festival participation (read the news).
The strong position of domestic television production continued, holding a prime time share of between 20% and 30%. The year also saw the success of Czech VoD platforms such as Voyo (read the news), which is gradually becoming the biggest local VoD) and KVIFF.TV (Karlovy Vary International Film Festival’s VoD platform, which originated from the merger with Aerofilms). According to the Czech Association of Audiovisual Producers, Czech films and series enjoyed high viewership, regularly appearing in the top ten lists of Netflix and Voyo.
As the Czech audiovisual industry celebrates its achievements in 2022, the suspension of film incentives raises concerns about the future growth of the sector. However, a partial solution stems from the new law on audiovisual media, under development by the Ministry of Culture in collaboration with the Czech Film Fund, which proposes to raise fees to the fund to 2% for all participants in the audiovisual market, including cinemas, TV, broadcast TV, and VoD. In addition, VoD platforms including the giant streamers such as Netflix will be required to put 1.5% of their Czech revenue into local content through direct investment (platforms not producing local content will instead pay the 3.5% fee). An agreement on unblocking the film incentives has been reached, and the situation is expected to be resolved sometime in September 2023.
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