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Europe's central broadcasting location

It’s no surprise that TV production and broadcast companies are flocking to Berlin-Brandenburg. With its infrastructure for productions, favourable conditions for subsidies, relatively low cost of living, and excellent film and television locations, the region is a magnet for talent from the creative industries.

Due to the market changes surrounding Brexit, many international broadcasters based in the UK, including DAZNTurner, and NBC Universal have already applied for a license from the German regulator Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg (MABB) and the Bayerische Landeszentrale für neue Medien (BLM) to broadcast in Europe. More and more production and broadcasting companies in a post-Brexit era are taking this route and relocating for the major benefits and opportunities available in the German capital region.

Putting Germany on the map: Berlin-Brandenburg’s unique media hub

Germany is the largest country in the European Union with a population of over 80 million, has the highest GDP in the EU, and the fourth highest GDP in the world. The country has a long tradition of mass media and is one of the most dynamic and diverse media markets in the world.

The key businesses in Berlin-Brandenburg's media sector are television, news agencies, film, music, games, telecommunications, internet, and advertising. It’s also the music tech capital of Europe with an annual turnover of approx. € 1,9 billion, and a booming tech startup scene. It’s a metropolis for web content, games, social media, ICT, and mobile with 20 of the 30 largest eBusiness firms in Germany having headquarters or offices in the region.

“Being able to call Berlin and Brandenburg home as a broadcaster is a precious gift. If we weren't here already, we would do just about anything to come here.” - Director General of the RBB, Patricia Schlesinger

TV production & broadcasting in Berlin-Brandenburg © Uhura Creative Media
TV production & broadcasting in Berlin-Brandenburg © Uhura Creative Media

Film and television producers from all over the world are strongly attracted to the capital: Berlin is a film-shoot site. Amongst the 300 films and TV series produced here each year, there are quite a number of large international productions including Cloud Atlas and Babylon Berlin (Tom Tykwer), Homeland (Lesli Linka Glatter) and Counterpart (Justin Marks) produced by Studio Babelsberg. The Lives of Others (Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck) won the 2007 Oscar for Best Foreign Language film.

Berlin-Brandenburg is the ultimate networking hub for the film industry in Europe and hosts numerous festivals and opportunities for new filmmakers to debut. Berlinale, one of the world’s largest public film festival, is a unique place of artistic exploration and entertainment, attracting tens of thousands of visitors from around the globe each year. For the film industry and the media, these eleven days in February are also one of the most important events to attend and an indispensable trading forum for the global film community. Their programme shows over 380 films a year to the public. More importantly, it is the meeting point of the European Film Market which attracts about 8,000 professionals from 400 companies in 95 countries.

Berlin-Brandenburg’s top relocation factors for broadcasters/studios are:

  • Production infrastructure,
  • The existence of other cultural and creative industries
  • Internationality
  • Quality of life
  • Availability of qualified personnel
  • Office space
  • Rent and living costs

A potential go-to base for UK companies post-Brexit

“It’s the ideal European base for production companies, broadcasters and content distributors looking to protect their international business going forward”, says RBB’s Director General Patricia Schlesinger.

According to a study done in 2018 on the Impact of Brexit on TV, VoD, and e-Commerce Providers in the UK, the most important location factor for all sectors was the availability of qualified staff and language skills, taxes, and cost of living.

Berlin-Brandenburg scores highly in comparison to other main European cities with lower staff, rental and living expenses by far compared to London, Paris, Dublin and Amsterdam. Top location factors for Berlin/Brandenburg are production infrastructure, the existence of other cultural and creative industries, internationality, quality of life, location image and transport infrastructure. For businesses, one of the great draws of Berlin is the cost. Office space in this sprawling, diverse metropolis is about €18 per square meter a month – a fraction of cities like London.

In the report Decoding Global Talent 2018, the Boston Consulting Group found that Germany has presented itself as highly welcoming to people from other countries. This, combined with a booming economy accounts for Berlin being the 3rd choice globally for international professionals to live. One of the main reasons is certainly the diverse, international character of the city, which makes it possible to get along very well there without having to speak German.

Berlin-Brandenburg at BVE 2019

Do address the current scenario for British broadcasters, radio stations and video-on-demand providers Brexit-situation, Berlin-Brandenburg held a panel at the BVE - the UK’s leading broadcast, production and media tech event in London on Feb 27, 2019. A round of experts from Vicaom, UFA, MABB and AIB was discussing the opportunities available in the German capital region to UK production companies and broadcasters in a post-Brexit era.

>> Watch our panel discussion on VIMEO!

If you are looking for more detailed information, please download our factbook on broadcasting in the post-Brexit era.

Need advice? These media institutions are here to help:

Medienanstalt Berlin-Brandenburg (mabb)

The region’s joint media institution, the mabb is an independent body that’s committed to safeguarding broadcasting and promotion innovations in Berlin-Brandenburg. 

Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg

The main institution for the film and media industry in the German capital region, Medienboard provides funding and support for content that’s both produced both in the region and by local content creators.

Brandenburg Invest (WFBB)

Brandenburg’s economic development corporation is the central point of contact for investors and companies based in Brandenburg. It promotes local employment and company expansion for the region.

Berlin Partner

With customized services and an excellent science and research network, Berlin Partner for Business and Technology provides an outstanding range of programs to help companies launch, innovate, expand and secure their economic future in Berlin.

Text: Melissa Embury

Header image: © Unsplash

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