Free TV & Streaming: The evaluation window for German films is getting narrower

The German film and media industry has agreed that subsidized German cinema films can be further exploited more quickly than before. The blocking period, the so-called evaluation window, should no longer last six months, but four months. This means that cinema films can be sold faster on DVD, rented out, shown on free-to-air television and included in the offerings of streaming providers.

Those involved in the agreement included the Association of Film Distributors, the Association of Private Media, ARD and ZDF, the Alliance of German Producers – Film and Television, the Motion Picture Association and the IT industry association Bitkom. He said that the participants were using a new opportunity in the Film Funding Act (FFG) for the first time to design the exclusive evaluation window for German films funded under the FFG through a guideline from the FFA Board of Directors. This was preceded by “quite lengthy negotiations”.

The new regulation takes account of the changed market conditions, writes Bitkom. In addition, the new version ensures that numerous special applications to the FFA, which used to cause a lot of bureaucracy, are no longer required. Those involved have also agreed to continue the dialogue on further flexibility for free TV and the documentary film, which has few viewers.

The current FFG has been in effect since the beginning of 2022. Paragraph 55a, which provides for the six-month blocking period, was added to Paragraph 53, according to which the Board of Directors of the Film Promotion Agency (FFA) can deviate from this in a guideline. In 2022, a good 252 million euros flowed into cinema film funding nationwide. 120 million of these come from the German Film Fund (DFFF). In 2021, this funded 115 national and international cinema productions and series. The DFFF subsidy can amount to up to 25 percent of the German funding costs. An evaluation window of 90 days has become standard internationally.


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