Television production

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As TV or television production program content are called, which for broadcast on television are produced. In addition to television films and series , this also includes the formats shown in the various television programs such as cultural programs, talk shows or magazines.


Television production is a multi-step process.

  • Concept: Current events, trends, ideas are implemented in a possible broadcast format . The concept arises from the initiative of television broadcasters, authors or producers.
  • Selection: An exposé of the planned production project is created. The synopsis is rated according to its attractiveness and the cost of implementation.
  • Production in the real sense: This includes the creation of a treatment , the writing of a script and the shooting.
  • Post-production : The material created during the shooting is cut and post-processed. This includes, for example, dubbing and adding special effects. The raw material is converted into a ready-to-broadcast version.
  • Broadcast processing : The last stage is the broadcast of the program.

The individual stages of the process can be taken over by different providers. This decides whether it is an in- house production , a commissioned production , a third-party production or a co-production . The productions are mainly used on public television on several channels. The best example is the ARD Tagesschau , which is broadcast in parallel or with a time delay on the third programs or on the digital channels .

In-house production

With in-house production, all stages of the production process of a program are in the financial and administrative responsibility of the broadcaster: conception, production, post-production and broadcast. News programs are a typical example of in-house production . The prerequisite for this is that the broadcaster has the complete infrastructure to create and broadcast a program.

Custom production

In the case of contract production, individual production steps are outsourced to external service providers. For example, the broadcaster can outsource technical production while it operates the editorial department itself. However, it is also conceivable that a broadcaster could outsource the entire production process. In this case, so -called full-service providers take over the entire production process and can again outsource individual parts, such as post-production, to other service providers. The broadcaster can save production costs through commissioned productions, as B. does not have to maintain its own television studio. In addition, specialization effects are noticeable here. There are service providers who specialize in special effects or certain genres. There are economies of scale because a service provider working for several clients can use its production resources more effectively and thus avoid expensive idle times. Another advantage is the greater innovative strength of external service providers. These are more exposed to the market than TV stations and must therefore react more quickly to trends. The outsourcing of production processes also harbors the risk that the broadcaster will lose know-how over the long term. In the long term, this leads to dependency on external service providers. Since there are many external service providers on the market, there is a certain price pressure. This can lead to savings in editorial or technical quality. The commissioning broadcaster has only limited influence on the quality of the contributions.

Most broadcasters are involved in or are the owners of production companies themselves. In this way, the broadcaster can have it produced in its own group of companies, but at the same time offer the service to third parties, which enables more effective use of resources. Since the public broadcasters are only allowed to operate in the market to a limited extent and want to have greater control over the content of commissioned productions, this model is particularly attractive for them. The ARD and ZDF are involved in several production companies and other service providers or their owners.

Commissioned productions are of different importance for private and public broadcasting. While in the case of private broadcasting mostly only economic considerations play a role in the outsourcing of production processes, special rules apply to public broadcasting due to its legal form as an institution under public law . For him, the limits are in program areas that concern the core of public broadcasting. With their basic service mandate, ARD and ZDF place higher demands on cultural and journalistic quality.

There is a risk that the increasing number of commissioned productions will become a journalistic mass product. Diversity could suffer if, for example, only one service provider supplies several stations with news.

External production

Third-party productions are usually complete television formats or films. The broadcasting broadcaster acquires a license to broadcast these programs from a rights dealer. The broadcaster has no influence on the content of the programs as it is not involved in any stage of the production process (with the exception of technical distribution). The best examples of this are foreign television series and films. Strictly speaking, third-party production is a sub-category of in-house or commissioned production, as originally another broadcaster or film studio produced or commissioned the works.


In a co-production, several broadcasters and / or service providers participate in a production. A logistical or financial joint venture can minimize production costs and risks. On the other hand, everyone involved in the success of a program benefits and has certain rights to the product. Coproductions can often be found in complex documentaries or in cinema and television films. Since all production processes can also be created in-house or as commissioned work in co-production, it is strictly speaking a sub-category of in-house and commissioned production.

User generated content

A special case is the content generated by the user, the so-called user-generated content . There are television stations that also broadcast content created by viewers. A classic example are the individual contributions in home video programs . The internet has made it even easier for television broadcasters to access user-generated content.


Since 1964, the Grimme Prize (formerly Adolf Grimme Prize ) has been awarded annually in Germany for television productions " that are exemplary and exemplary for programming practice ." The Grimme Prize is the most important award for television productions in Germany. A comprehensive overview of other significant television awards at home and abroad can be found on Wikipedia under the Lemma television award .


  • Werner van Appeldorn: Handbook of film and television production: Psychology, design, technology. TR-Verl.-Union, Munich 1992, ISBN 3-8058-2431-9 .
  • Craig Collie: The business of TV production. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2007, ISBN 978-0-521-68238-1 .
  • Dennis Eick: Program planning: The strategies of German TV broadcasters. 1st edition. UVK Verlagsgesellschaft, Konstanz 2007, ISBN 978-3-89669-676-2 .
  • Hans W. Geißendörfer, Alexander Leschinsky: Handbook television production. Luchterhand, Neuwied 2002, ISBN 3-472-04615-5 .
  • Lutz Hachmeister, Dieter stop: The television producers: role and self-image. 1st edition. UVK-Verlags-Gesellschaft, Konstanz 2003, ISBN 3-89669-423-5 .
  • Eric Karstens, Jörg Schütte: Praxishandbuch Fernsehen: How TV transmitters work. 1st edition. VS, Verlag für Sozialwiss., Wiesbaden 2005, ISBN 3-531-14505-3 .
  • Josef Stader: Television: from the idea to the broadcast: practice - everyday life - background. Eichborn, Frankfurt am Main 1994, ISBN 3-8218-0996-5 .

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ ZDF yearbook
  2. Bernd W. Wirtz: Media and Internet Management. 6th, revised edition. Gabler, Wiesbaden 2009, ISBN 978-3-8349-0864-3 , pp. 407-417.
  3. See ARD.intern: Community facilities ( Memento from November 6, 2011 in the Internet Archive ) [10. October 2011]
  4. See ZDF programs and important participations [10. October 2011].
  5. ^ Grimme Institute: About the Grimme Prize ( Memento from April 11, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) [24. November 2011]