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The C21 Covid-19 Content Business Response Report


Home > Reports > The C21 Covid-19 Content Business Response Report
The C21 Covid-19 Content Business Response Report features daily analysis of coping strategies for the global pandemic. It includes expert advice on legal, financial and operational issues affecting content businesses in the current crisis. It also collates the experiences of producers, distributors, broadcasters and platforms around as they adapt operations, while also highlighting opportunities in the market. It is essential reading for any content business aiming to adapt and survive. The report is free to read with a PRO subscription to New subscribers are being offered a 50% discount on C21PRO subscriptions for a limited period. CLICK HERE for more information. Existing C21PRO subscription rates have been frozen at the 2019 level.
Tomorrow's world
Tomorrow Studios' Marty Adelstein talks about his new dystopian TNT and Netflix drama Snowpiercer and how the US production industry in general will change due to Covid-19.
On the Wild Side
Jannine Waddell of Waddell Media talks about making primetime factual on daytime budgets and the future of international production as her new C4 series airs.
Discovering gems
With streaming surging and HBO Max arriving, the need for services to distinguish themselves with intelligent content recommendation is growing, argues Marcus Bergström.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Rian Bester, Jannine Waddell and Anne Roder Botbol
Insight TV CEO Rian Bester discusses the 4K broadcaster's renewed focus on acquisitions amid the pandemic; Waddell Media MD Jannine Waddell explains how the firm finished a new wildlife series under lockdown; and Anne Roder Botbol from Never Ending Story details how the Belgian prodco kept one of the nation's longest running gameshows on air.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Andy Singer, Greg Sanderson, Simone Haywood and Ana de Moraes
Alkemy X’s Andy Singer talks about how the New York prodco completed its latest TLC show as the pandemic hit and the broader impact on the US; Zinc Media’s Greg Sanderson discusses the group’s emergence from UK lockdown; and MultiStory Media’s Simone Haywood and Ana de Moraes on their new Netflix series, plus corona-proof programmes.
Let the game begin
CPL Productions' Danielle Lux and Murray Boland talk about the future of physical gameshows post-Covid-19 ahead of the debut of Game On! on CBS.
Retail therapy
The trend for media to evolve and merge into retail is being accelerated by Covid-19, with kids' habits changing as a result, writes Nick Richardson.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Marty Adelstein, Kirsty Bell and Tom Brisley
Tomorrow Studios CEO Marty Adelstein talks about his new drama Snowpiercer and how his company has been impacted by Covid-19; Goldfinch CEO Kirsty Bell discusses the financier’s fund for UK prodcos, and Arrow Media co-founder and creative director Tom Brisley details how the firm shifted strategy to cope with lockdown.
Painless existence
Painless Productions is marking 25 years, but founder Jim Casey has been busy coming up with creative solutions to unprecedented challenges rather than celebrating.
Taste of things to come
Streaming has become the “bittersweet beneficiary” of the coronavirus pandemic, says Dietrich von Behren at aggregation service Reelgood.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Craig Jenest, Frank Sinton and JJ Johnson
Five Films co-founder Craig Jenest discusses how he’s fighting back with a raft of new shows to replace live sports; Tinopolis USA COO and A Smith & Co Dox president Frank Sinton shares his experience of working under lockdown to finish The Titan Games for NBC; and Sinking Ship Entertainment co-founder JJ Johnson explains how he’s keeping the firm afloat.
The saga continues
Kjartan Thor Thordarson of Sagafilm Nordic reveals how the Icelandic prodco is preparing to resume filming, how development is changing and why local series might be the way ahead.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Cheryl Taylor, Stu Rowson, Sarah Lazarides and Rob Shaftel
BBC Children’s content boss Cheryl Taylor and head of discovery Stu Rowson discuss their kids’ programming strategy during lockdown; Harbottle & Lewis partner Sarah Lazarides talks about efforts to restart UK production; and Hit + Run founder Rob Shaftel explains how the US indie is doubling down on development.
Live-action stations
With production getting the green light to resume again in countries around the world, how long until live-action scripted production involving children follows suit?
Ultimate timing
Physical gameshows have come into vogue since live sport has been put on hold. Could the timing be perfect for Fox’s launch of Ultimate Tag?
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Michael Carrington, Kjartan Thordarson & Jim Casey
ABC Australia director of entertainment Michael Carrington discusses the pubcaster's response to the coronavirus pandemic; Sagafilm Nordic CEO Kjartan Thor Thordarson explains how Iceland is resuming production; and Painless Productions president Jim Casey argues fast-turnaround lockdown content will be short-lived.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Monica Levy, Colin Howes, Kieran Doherty & Matthew Worthy
Federation Entertainment's Monica Levy talks about having to put international copros on hold, but staying upbeat as lockdown restrictions begin to lift; Harbottle & Lewis's Colin Howes assesses production sector investor confidence; and Stellify Media's Kieran Doherty and Matthew Worthy discuss new Channel 4 format Snoop Dogs.
A pathway back
Jeremy Roberts, partner at law firm Sheridans, outlines a detailed roadmap through the legal issues leading towards the resumption of TV production.
The new normal
Covid-19 has been indiscriminate in its impact on the entertainment industry, but it has also accelerated some structural changes, writes Guy Bisson of Ampere Analysis.
All to play for
Broadcasters in the UK are thinking laterally to fill the chasm left by Covid-19’s damage to the sporting calendar.
The whole shooting match
As more and more countries get the green light to begin shooting again, securing insurance remains the priority for production companies.
Covid-19: Restarting production
Caitlin McGivern, associate at UK-based media law firm Harbottle & Lewis, outlines the legal issues surrounding the resumption of film and television production.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Katja Hofem, Bill Malone and Caterina Vacchi
Katja Hofem, MD of Joyn, discusses what the German streamer is looking for to fill gaps in its line-up created by the production hiatus; VMTV Ireland content chief Bill Malone details its response to the Covid-19 crisis; and Atlantyca Films head of production and distribution Caterina Vacchi talks about how the Milan-based company is coping.
Lighting up a blackout
The pandemic turned producer Pat McGee's long-term feature doc about the news coverage of Bernie Sanders’ election campaign into a quick-turnaround film for US cablenet Vice TV.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: David Brady, Nancy Glass & Brandon Barr
Cream Productions CEO David Brady offers a personal tale of contracting Covid-19; Glass Entertainment CEO Nancy Glass discusses the shows her firm has been working on during the pandemic; and Trioscope Studios co-founder Brandon Barr talks about pioneering animation technology that could come to the aid of live-action production under lockdown.
Launch under lockdown
Nordic prodco Nevis Productions launched last week. Co-founder Anni Faurbye Fernandez discusses its ambitions and the challenges of starting up in a pandemic.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Anni Faurbye Fernandez & Telidja Klaï
Former Yellow Bird CEO Anni Faurbye Fernandez discusses launching new Nordic drama outfit Nevis Productions amid the coronavirus crisis, while Ketnet head of acquisitions and coproduction Telidja Klaï talks about how the Belgian kids network is adapting.
Alphas adapt to pandemic
Those born after 2010 could be the generation most capable of coping with a global pandemic, according to a study from Beano Studios' insights arm.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Amanda Rees, Pip Broughton & David Mortimer
S4C content chief Amanda Rees discusses how the Welsh pubcaster has responded to the coronavirus crisis with a series of fast-turnaround commissions; Vox Pictures co-founder Pip Broughton talks about making one of them; and STV Productions MD David Mortimer explains why the Scottish prodco is steering clear of such programming, plus the long-term impact of the pandemic for UK broadcasters.
Abacus adds up
Former Kew Media Distribution exec Jonathan Ford considers the challenges of launching his new sales house, Abacus Media Rights, amid the Covid-19 lockdown.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Carlotta Rossi Spencer and Sophie Ferron
Banijay Group head of format acquisitions Carlotta Rossi Spencer discusses how she's embracing escapism in her hunt for new content, and Media Ranch CEO Sophie Ferron talks about how the firm has carved out a new category of formats within its catalogue designed to help buyers emerge swiftly from the Covid-19 crisis.
Canuck crisis response
Canada’s Canada’s Rogers Media, CBC, Bell Media, Radio-Canada and Corus Entertainment reveal how they are adapting their strategies to cope with Covid-19.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Jeff Pope, Peter Bowker & Fergus O'Brien
Producer Jeff Pope discusses his new ITV lockdown drama Isolation Stories; while writer Peter Bowker and director Fergus O'Brien talk about working on the third season of BBC series The A Word, and the impact the coronavirus pandemic has had on new seasons of World on Fire and Gentleman Jack.
Keeping connected
The Children's Media Conference is providing opportunities for the kids' industry to stay informed and do deals with China while under lockdown.
The new TV content economy
The coronavirus crisis marks a watershed for the TV content rights business, spelling the end of big, exclusive deals, argues Vuulr's Ian McKee.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Colby Gaines and Patrick Weiland
Back Roads Entertainment founder Colby Gaines and Intuitive Content senior VP Patrick Weiland talk about how the two US unscripted production companies are getting back to work as states including Texas and Minnesota begin lifting coronavirus lockdown restrictions.
Going back to the start
Producers and broadcasters seeking ways out of the coronavirus crisis could find opportunities where the pandemic began – in the Far East, suggests Amanda Groom.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Natalka Znak and Patrick Reardon
Znak & Co founder Natalka Znak discusses how the transatlantic entertainment and factual formats specialist is working to find solutions to shows that have been hit by social distancing restrictions; and Jupiter Entertainment president Patrick Reardon voices his hope the coronavirus pandemic could, nonetheless, trigger a rebound in unscripted television.
Fast on their feet
C21Kids editor Nico Franks explores some of the ways the children's industry is continuing to serve its audience in such challenging times.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Ivar Køhn and Eleonora Andreatta
Ivar Køhn, head of drama at NRK, talks about how the Norwegian public broadcaster has resumed production this week on financial drama Exit, with a long list of Covid-19 health and safety measures in place; and Eleonora Andreatta, director of fiction at Rai, discusses how the Italian pubcaster is dealing with the crisis.
Streamers ride the waves
Leading streamers are reaping the benefits of captive audiences amid the Covid-19 lockdown, but they, like everyone else, face challenging times ahead.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Robin Hilton and Adam Cunningham
Robin Hilton, partner at media law firm Sheridans, assesses the legal issues that need to be addressed before TV production and M&A activity can hope to resume amid the Covid-19 crisis; and Adam Cunningham, chief global strategist at Allied Global Marketing, discusses the surge in popularity of streaming services under lockdown.
Follow your audience
Aron Levitz, head of Wattpad Studios, argues that Covid-19 is certainly having an impact on the industry but the effect is simply accelerating trends that have been underway for 10 years.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Christian Rank and Karin Heijink
Christian Rank, head of drama at Danish public broadcaster DR, reveals which scripted series have been hit by the pandemic and how event shows may be used to fill gaps in the schedule; and Viasat World VP of channels and products Karin Heijink explains how the international pay TV group is shifting its acquisitions strategy.
Ensuring 5 thrives
Ben Frow at ViacomCBS Networks UK discusses Covid-19 and the importance of still offering new and returning originals.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Lucas Green and Jonathan Ford
Banijay Group head of content Lucas Green talks about how the production giant is working through the Covid-19 crisis, new social lockdown show Shelf Isolation, and the rebound of unscripted; and former Kew Media sales chief Jonathan Ford discusses the company's collapse, plus his new venture Abacus Media Rights, repping the next projects from Leaving Neverland maker Dan Reed.
Red Carpet survivalists
Launching a new format amid a production lockdown presents unique challenges. Here, Mike Beale of ITV Studios and Tom Miyauchi at Nippon TV discuss their Red Carpet Survival deal and why they expect the format to appeal.
Crisis breeds creativity
JC Mills, president of Cineflix Productions, talks us through his first month at the company, having arrived just as the production lockdown kicked in.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Tony Tackaberry, Mike Beale & Tom Miyauchi
Lion TV CEO Tony Tackaberry speaks from the US about the projects the All3Media-owned prodco had in the works when lockdown hit, his concerns for freelancers, and the post-Covid-19 future for US cable; and ITV Studios' Mike Beale and Nippon TV's Tom Miyauchi discuss their partnership on new gameshow format Red Carpet Survival.
Making it quick in lockdown
Tayte Simpson, director of programmes and executive producer at Mentorn Media, talks about the challenges of producing quick-turnaround factual during lockdown.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: TV2 Denmark and TVOKids
TV2 Denmark director of programmes Lotte Lindegaard talks about what it was like being first in the country to record a case of Covid-19 and how the lockdown that followed has affected strategy; and TVOKids chief Marney Malabar discusses how the Canadian pubcaster is adapting to potential disruption to its programming pipeline.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Wiggin, Parrot Analytics and Uptime
Michael Brader, from media law firm Wiggin, explores how the current production freeze is impacting M&A in the TV sector; Steve Langdon of Parrot Analytics discusses audience viewing trends under Covid-19 lockdown; and former Facebook and YouTube exec Patrick Walker talks about the launch of his new business Uptime.
Continental drift
Elena Lai of European producers’ trade body CEPI considers the impact of Covid-19 on the industry and what the EU should be doing about it.
Home box office
In a media world disrupted by Covid-19, will the lines between cinema and TV continue to blur and could they offer each other a lifeline?
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Azoomee and Hopster
Kids' entertainment and educational start-ups Azoomee and Hopster have seen a surge in usage under coronavirus lockdown, with the former's Estelle Lloyd ramping up acquisitions of social emotional learning content and the latter's Miki Chojnacka seeking arts and crafts shows.
A new epoch?
Nick Richardson, founder and CEO of children’s market intelligence firm Kids Insights, discusses how kids' behaviour and consumption habits are evolving as a result of coronavirus.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Charlotte Reid and Stephen Stewart
Discovery UK & Ireland head of lifestyle and entertainment commissioning Charlotte Reid discusses how she's adapting schedules in response to the Covid-19 crisis; and Stephen Stewart, MD of Northern Ireland prodco Green Inc, talks about continuing production.
Virtual MipTV takeaways
Tim Gerhartz, senior VP of global sales at Red Arrow Studios International, tells us five key trends he spotted during the hastily arranged online version of the cancelled MipTV market.
TV in the time of corona
Getting production moving after the pandemic will depend on who pays for future lockdowns, argues Jeremy Roberts.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: STV, LADbible and The Bridge
STV head of broadcast Bobby Hain discusses the way the Scottish pubcaster is adapting to the Covid-19 crisis; LADbible head of original programming Ben Powell-Jones talks about new social media series Corona Diaries; and Amanda Groom, MD of The Bridge, explores the first potential green shoots of recovery in Asia.
Inside access docs
Jacqueline Hewer of Brown Bob Films, known for its access docs about the UK’s National Health Service, considers how Covid-19 has affected her business.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Nathalie Biancolli and Georgie Mathew
Nathalie Biancolli, director of acquisitions and international fiction at France Télévisions, explains how the pubcaster is adapting its channels in the face of the coronavirus crisis; and Georgie Mathew, a producer at Yellow Bird in Sweden, talks about still being in production on new series Snow Angels in a country where lock-down restrictions remain lenient.
The Alleycats' tale
Ed Stobart of Northern Ireland prodco Alleycats discusses how formats could continue during lockdown rather than being left on the shelf.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Jed Mercurio and Jimmy Akingbola
Writer Jed Mercurio discusses Bloodlands, the first drama to come out of his HTM Television joint venture with Hat Trick Productions, and how the Covid-19 production shutdown impacted the sixth season of Line of Duty; while actor Jimmy Akingbola talks new Quibi drama The Most Dangerous Game and auditioning under lockdown.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Ben Silverman and Patrick Walker
Propagate chairman and co-CEO Ben Silverman discusses the challenge of redefining global production in the current crisis, while former Facebook and YouTube EMEA head of media partnerships Patrick Walker shares his experience of contracting and recovering from Covid-19.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: RTÉ and SVT
Dermot Horan, director of coproductions and acquisitions at Ireland's RTÉ, and Stephen Mowbray, head of international at SVT in Sweden, talk about how these public broadcasters are responding to the Covid-19 pandemic, adapting their schedules and the gaps that they're looking to fill.
Turning crisis into opportunity
Empowerment coach and former ITV Studios executive Remy Blumenfeld argues that the Covid-19 pandemic offers an opportunity to be a better boss – and, indeed, person.
Broadening horizons
Just over a year on from its launch, copro and finance agency Fugitive is moving into distribution and formats, while adjusting to cope with the Covid-19 crisis.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Icon Films, Hat Trick, Brown Bob
A trio of UK independent producers talk to Clive Whittingham about how they're responding to the Covid-19 pandemic: Laura Marshall, CEO of Icon Films; Hat Trick International director of sales Sarah Tong; and Jacqueline Hewer, CEO of Brown Bob Productions, which was in the midst of filming the latest season of documentary series Inside The Ambulance when the coronavirus emerged.
Protect and survive
Coronavirus is transforming the UK industry and pushing broadcasters to find ingenious ways to keep the nation entertained and informed.
Business as usual?
With many animation studios still working despite the pandemic, how could demand for the genre surge in the near future?
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Pact, COBA & West London Film Studios
Pact CEO John McVay talks about the work the trade association has been doing to help support the UK's independent producers amid the Covid-19 crisis; COBA executive chairman Adam Minns voices his concerns for the nation's commercial broadcasters; and Matilda Wylie explains how West London Film Studios is coping with a previously booming TV production business that has now ground to a halt.
Wild problems
Icon Films' CEO discusses the challenges the Covid-19 pandemic poses to producers of natural history, a genre wedded to travel and time in the field.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 Diaries: Thomas Dey; Carter Pilcher on Quibi
ACF Investment Bank president and CEO Thomas Dey offers his perspective on how the coronavirus pandemic is impacting M&A and finance in the independent production sector, while ShortsTV CEO Carter Pilcher gives his take on the launch of Jeffrey Katzenberg and Meg Whitman's Quibi in the US and Canada today.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Tim Whitwell and Guillaume Hellouin
Tim Whitwell, creative director of Shine TV, and Guillaume Hellouin, co-founder and president of TeamTO, tell Nico Franks how they're keeping their shows on the road, with the first working on ITV doc Coronavirus, Isolation & Me and the latter's 300 animators working from home across France on a variety of projects.
Welcome to the world of N&R indies
Ruth Pitt, director of the UK's Creative Cities Convention, argues that indie producers outside London have advantages when it comes to working in a pandemic.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Ruth Berry, Lilla Hurst & Ludo Dufour
ITV Studios MD of global distribution Ruth Berry, Drive joint MD Lilla Hurst, and Blue Ant International senior VP of international coproductions and sales Ludo Dufour discuss how distributors are adapting to disruption in the programme supply chain, an annual sales calendar in tatters, and broadcast clients tearing up their schedules.
Covid-19: The legal fall-out
With production across North America halted, entertainment lawyer Divya Shahani explains the key legal issues emerging from the coronavirus pandemic.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Phil Gurin talks formats, Frapa, Mip & more
Phil Gurin, president and CEO of The Gurin Company, co-chair of Frapa and Natpe board member, talks to Clive Whittingham about how the formats business can adapt to the Covid-19 crisis, the continued importance of events like MipTV and tuning into Zoom for cocktail hour with colleagues.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Designated Survivor showrunner Neal Baer
Neal Baer, exec producer and showrunner on Netflix drama Designated Survivor, talks about the science that informed the final season's pandemic plot line, genetic technology that could unleash something worse than Covid-19, and the changes sweeping Hollywood as a result of the current crisis.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Claire Mundell and Dan Sefton
Synchronicity Films founder Claire Mundell talks about the benefits of an enforced period of isolation for the scripted business, while screenwriter Dan Sefton discusses shutting down production on BBC drama The Mallorca Files and the possibility of returning to his former career as a doctor.
Taking formats forward
Phil Gurin of Frapa and The Gurin Company talks through the challenges posed to gameshows, shiny-floor reality and live events by the Covid-19 lockdown.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: Simon Crawford Collins & Frith Tiplady
Slim Film + Television founder Simon Crawford Collins discusses shutting down production on BBC drama Around the World in 80 Days, while Moonage Pictures exec producer Frith Tiplay talks about putting Sky sci-fi drama Intergalactic on hiatus and the wider industry impact of Covid-19.
MY foreign relations
Michael Yudin of MY Entertainment discusses the mixed ecology driving the unscripted producer’s slate and the realities of the Covid-19 lockdown.
Destination television
2CV's Richard Pickering considers how linear TV can serve audiences of the future if broadcasters reconnect with populations now confined to their homes.
C21 Podcast
Covid-19 diaries: the analysts' perspective
Analysts Marc Berman, Simon Murray and Conrad Wiacek discuss the impact of Covid-19 on the US broadcast networks, streamers, global pay TV sector and sports as US pilot season stalls, Disney+ rolls out in Europe and the 2020 Tokyo Olympics are postponed.
Commercial impact
Lindsey Clay of UK broadcasting body Thinkbox considers the effect Covid-19 is having on TV channels and what the future might hold.
France alters exports
Faced with an increasingly globalised marketplace, not to mention a global pandemic, French drama distributors are fine-tuning their strategies.
Rules of engagement
David Kleeman at research firm Dubit advises content owners to give the millions of children at home more control over IP to boost engagement.
Covid-19 diaries: PBS chief programming exec Perry Simon
PBS chief programming executive and general manager for general audience programming Perry Simon talks to Jonathan Webdale about how the US public broadcaster is responding to the coronavirus pandemic, rethinking its schedule and programming strategy in light of the ongoing crisis.
Repeat problems
That Netflix is already reminding users to re-watch shows is indicative of the extent to which coronavirus is set to impact the business, writes editor Jonathan Webdale.
Covid-19 diaries: EPC urges action to save audiovisual sector
The European Producers Club has appealed to the European Commission, EU member governments and global streamers to help avert the decimation of the audiovisual sector as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. President Alvaro Longoria, VP Dariusz Jablonski and MD Alexandra Lebret talk to Jonathan Webdale.
An unprecedented crisis
As the coronavirus pandemic grinds on, C21’s editorial director Ed Waller explores the impact on the industry and looks to an uncertain future.
Coronavirus: a new reality for TV?
Ben Barrett of UK funding and sales agency Drive considers how coronavirus disruption could change TV commissioning and distribution strategies.
Report price: £299.00