This article explores the production and distribution process for television co-productions and explains the potential benefits and risks compared to other media joint ventures, like television formatting. Using a detailed case study of one television series within a larger co-production agreement between a German rights trader and a Hollywood studio, the author analyzes production and distribution challenges and complex contractual arrangements within the context of global media trade. Co-productions are situated in between, and as a transition from, acquiring rights to canned television programs, and acquiring rights to television formats. The author contends that a range of difficulties in co-productions has contributed to a turn to television formatting, where the production process is more easily controlled and customized by the partner acquiring the property, leading to more predictable and successful distribution outcomes.

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Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision
VIEW Journal

Torre, Paul. (2020). Transnational Television Distribution and Co-Production Challenges: A KirchMedia and Sony Pictures Television Case Study. VIEW Journal, 9(17), 43–61. doi:10.18146/view.215