TV Food


Renewed appetite for US scripted series in Germany


Liam Costello Senior Manager

More new US shows have found distribution in Germany so far this year than in the whole of 2019. With 70 new shows coming to the market this represents the biggest influx of scripted series to any Show Tracker territory in 2020.

But the age of this new content to Germany varies, with 31 of these shows having originally premiered in the US during the 2018/19 season or earlier. The UK is the leading European market for offering brand new US shows from the current 2019/20 slate (60%).

On average it takes over 6 months for a new show to premiere in Germany after the US. This is on par with France and slower than all other Show Tracker markets (besides China which has well documented political barriers to entry). Yet it is not simply a case of German buyers waiting to see if a new show is renewed for additional seasons before making a commitment. Of the new shows to premiere in Germany this year, 17 had already been cancelled after just the one season with a further 11 being a limited run (i.e. they are not intended to return).

Sky (21) and ProSiebenSat.1 (15) are the biggest buyers with each taking more shows this year than last. The content pipeline to Sky’s Pay TV channels remains strong through its HBO and Warner Bros output deal with WarnerMedia. ProSiebenSat.1 has acquired shows from a variety of distributors for its mix of Free and Pay TV channels, with four shows also premiering on its Joyn+ SVOD service.

In contrast to this renewed activity for acquiring new shows, the second window market in Germany has stalled with just five US series finding a second home this year (down from 15 at the same point in 2019). Besides Poland, this represents the smallest number of second windows this year in all European Show Tracker markets.

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