IAS 38 para 98A, film industry, rebuttal of presumption that revenue method of amortisation is inappropriate

Vivendi S.A. – Annual report – 31 December 2016

Industry: film and television

Note 1 Accounting policies and valuation methods (extract)

1.1 Compliance with accounting standards

The 2016 Consolidated Financial Statements of Vivendi SA have been prepared in accordance with International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as endorsed by the European Union (EU), and in accordance with IFRS published by the International Accounting Standards Board (IASB) with mandatory application as of December 31, 2016.

The amendments to IAS 38 – Intangible Assets apply mandatorily from January 1, 2016. These amendments, related to clarification of acceptable methods of depreciation and amortization, were issued by the IASB on May 12, 2014, endorsed by the EU on December 2, 2015, and published in the Official Journal of the EU on December 3, 2015.

Their application had no significant impact on Vivendi. Regarding its film production and television rights activities, Vivendi considers that using the amortization method based on revenues generated by these activities, according to the estimated revenue method described in Note, is appropriate because revenue and the consumption of the economic benefits embodied in the intangible assets are highly correlated. Content assets (extract)

Canal+ Group

Film, television or sports broadcasting rights

When entering into contracts for the acquisition of film, television or sports broadcasting rights, the rights acquired are classified as contractual commitments. They are recorded in the Statement of Financial Position and classified as content assets as follows:

  • film and television broadcasting rights are recognized at their acquisition cost when the program is available for screening and are expensed over their broadcasting period;
  • sports broadcasting rights are recognized at their acquisition cost at the opening of the broadcasting period of the related sports season or upon the first payment and are expensed as they are broadcast; and
  • expensing of film, television or sports broadcasting rights is included in cost of revenues.

Theatrical films and television rights produced or acquired to be sold to third parties

Theatrical films and television rights produced or acquired before their initial exhibition to be sold to third parties, are recorded as a content asset at capitalized cost (mainly direct production and overhead costs) or at their acquisition cost. The cost of theatrical films and television rights are amortized, and other related costs are expensed, pursuant to the estimated revenue method (i.e., based on the ratio of the current period’s gross revenues to estimated total gross revenues from all sources on an individual production basis). Vivendi considers that amortization pursuant to the estimated revenue method reflects the rate at which the entity plans to consume the future economic benefits related to the asset.

Where appropriate, estimated losses in value are provided in full against earnings for the period in which the losses are estimated, on an individual product basis.

Film and television rights catalogs

Catalogs comprise film rights acquired for a second television screening, or produced or acquired film and television rights that are sold to third parties after their first television screening (i.e., after their first broadcast on a free terrestrial channel). They are recognized as an asset at their acquisition or transfer cost and amortized as groups of films, or individually, based respectively on the estimated revenue method.