Nordic company Viaplay Group decided to stop all production of new film and television series in Denmark. The move comes after two Danish unions reached a rights agreement in January that was intended to ensure that local filmmakers and screenwriters receive a greater share of the profits if a series or film performs well.
Viaplay Group announced its decision in an open letter to the Producentforeningen and Create Danmark unions, which represent producers, writers and other film industry workers, and were the two organizations that carried out the January agreement.
Viaplay’s decision follows North American streaming platform Netflix and Danish TV2 Play, which took similar action as a result of the rights agreement, which runs for two years. Both companies said it had become too expensive to produce in the country.
“Until we have reached a sustainable agreement, we cannot see any immediate alternative than putting further production of Danish fiction projects on hold,” wrote Filippa Wallestam, Chief Content Officer at Viaplay, in a statement. “In the long term, we hope we can find a viable way so that we can again produce fiction in Denmark and thereby achieve our ambitious goal of becoming the leading provider of Danish-produced films and series,” she added.
Moreover, Wallestam said that “Denmark risked becoming a low priority market in relation to investments in local content” as a result of this new measure, combined with a recently introduced government policy requiring streamers to pay 6% of their profit generated in the country as a “cultural contribution” to support Danish TV production.