Decrease in TV Advertising Revenues Hits Slovak Production


    BRATISLAVA: A drop in TV ad revenues due to COVID-19, with a large part so far due to the cancellation of sporting events, is hitting the Slovak production sector as television has less money to commission independent productions. The same crisis is hitting production all over Europe.

    “We will see a significant drop in TV productions this year, probably also next year, depends on how long the crisis will be,” said Wanda Adamík Hrycová, Slovak producer and President of the Slovak Film & Television Academy, “all work is cancelled from 10 March due to the COVID-19 restrictions but now also due the drop in revenues.” 

    The decrease in advertising revenues was minimal in March for RTVS, but the television could see an estimated decline of 3.5 m EUR from projected advertising revenues in the coming months, which is tied to the cancellation of major sports events such as the Hockey World Championship, the European Football Championship and others.

    „For films in which RTVS is a minority or majority co-producer and which are due to be released this year, everything is on schedule and should be submitted later this year. For the coproduction films which were to be prepared this year, we are waiting out the situation with the coronavirus pandemic before we continue,“  Erika Rusnáková, the spokeswoman of the National broadcaster RTVS, told FNE.

    TV advertising revenues are also part of the income for the Slovak Audiovisual Fund (5% of revenues from the national broadcaster and 2% from commercial broadcasters). FNE spoke to Martin Šmatlák, director of the Slovak Audiovisual Fund about the current situation.

    Šmatlák noted that the potential decline of TV broadcasters' advertising revenues during 2020 will not be felt until next year, because the fund calculates their contributions from the previous year's revenue.

    „A significant decrease also applies to the fund's income from entrance tickets to cinemas, which are now closed. I assume that the incomes of retransmission operators might not decrease as significantly, so this area of our contributors could remain relatively stabilised. A slight positive in this situation may be the increase in revenues of video on demand service providers, which is also a circle of our contributors. But we will know more in autumn,“ said Šmatlák.