State TV cancels series production projects due to high costs

Head of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU), Osama al-Sheikh, said Egyptian state television will not purchase any new series and will annul agreements that stipulate its partnership in 2011 series production.

Al-Sheikh denied involvement in a recent crisis between producers and networks over payments. Producers have complained of contract cancellations but al-Sheikh said those agreements were merely in negotiating stages.

The union head also said there will be no more collaboration between state-run parties and independent producers on projects due to the "high costs of actors and series."

"I canceled all agreements until this crisis is settled, with exception to the Adel Imam's series Ferqet Nagui Atallah, or the Nagui Atallah's band, as television signed on a joint production last year," al-Sheikh told Al-Masry Al-Youm.

"Higher prices of series resulted in paying more for actors, which is not a problem for producers, because they know television will buy at a high prices," added al-Sheikh.

This decision should end the current crisis, according to al-Sheikh. It will also make others reconsider the prices paid to actors, and encourage them to "produce one series instead of many."

“I’m obliged to buy the second season of a series at LE40 million although I bought the first season in Ramadan at LE20 million,” said al-Sheikh, denying that television is immune to losses.

“All channels didn’t make profits," added al-Sheikh. "Everyone depends on second and third seasons.”

Translated from the Arabic Edition.

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