Pursuant to the German Film Law (FFG), companies exploiting feature films must pay a legally binding proportion of their revenues to the FFA. This so-called “film levy” finances all of the FFA’s funding measures and must be paid by the exhibitors, the video industry, the broadcasters as well as the programme providers.
The film levy to be raised from the cinemas is calculated per screen and based on the annual net turnover from ticket sales. Cinemas with annual turnover not exceeding 100.000 Euros are not required to pay a film levy and are only subject to reporting obligations. For cinemas with higher turnover, the levy is between 1.8% and 3% of the turnover. In order to calculate the film levy, the FFA receives monthly turnover and admissions reports from the exhibitors, this data also serving as the basis for the FFA’s statistical analyses and studies.
Video distributors and Video-on-Demand operators
The film levy for video distributors, who exploit films over 58 minutes as license-holders on such image-carriers as DVD or Blu-ray Disc by sell-through or rental is also based on the annual net turnover from these revenues. It ranges between 1.8% and 2.5%. Video distributors, who generate net turnover of under 500,000 Euros and less than 2% of this turnover with feature films, do not have to pay any film levy.
Video-on-Demand operators, who annually generate less than 500,000 Euros with the exploitation of feature films, are also exempt from the levy. The film levy is between 1.8 and 2.5 per cent in the case of annual net turnover exceeding this amount.
The film levy for the public broadcasters is based on their expenditure for the airing of feature films; it is 3% of these costs.
Private broadcasters with free-to-air channels are required to pay a film levy based on their net advertising turnover. The film levy is between 0.15% and 0.95% and is based on the feature films’ share of the total air time. Those channels are exempt from payment of the levy where films don‘t have any or only a small share of the schedules (under 2% of the total air time) or whose total net turnover generated from this programming is less than 750,000 Euros.
The operators of pay TV and programme-providers pay a non-scaled film levy of 0.25% of their net turnover from subscription contracts. Those programme providers are exempt from payment of the levy, who are not showing any or only a few feature films (under 2% of the total air time) or whose total net turnover generated from this programming is less than 750,000 Euros in the previous year.