People/Biz

Report: Int’l revenues boost UK TV indies

The British television production sector grew its total revenues a new high of £2.7 billion ($US3.47 billion) in 2017, a bump of nearly a third over the past decade, according to ...
September 4, 2018

The British television production sector grew its total revenues a new high of £2.7 billion ($US3.47 billion) in 2017, a bump of nearly a third over the past decade, according to a new report from UK independent producers’ association Pact.

The 13th annual census report, published Tuesday (Sept. 4), found that despite a slight fall in reported revenues last year, the revenue totals increase has returned the sector to the trend of steady growth of total revenues, roughly 2% (£50m/$US64.21m) per year, since 2012.

According to Pact, sector growth has primarily been driven by international revenues which have ballooned over the past eight years to £802 million (about $US1.029 billion) in 2017, an 11% year-on-year increase. International commissions have bolstered that growth, aided by additional spending from SVOD services. As a result, both international commissions revenue and total international income have more than doubled since 2010.

Commissioning revenues from international streaming services like Netflix and Amazon Prime has also increased by 19% year-on-year to £150 million ($US192.62m), accounting for nearly one-third of overseas commissioning revenue with series such as The Grand Tour.

The growth, however, was not as dramatic as in last year’s census, where the SVOD spend doubled from 2015 to 2016.

The report also states that over the past eight years, a greater number of smaller companies then ever before have scaled up into the £25-70 million ($US32.10-89.88m) turnover bracket – up 13% – and the share of the total market for this band has doubled over the same period.

Spending on British factual entertainment commissions, meanwhile, has nearly doubled since 2012, from 12% to 23%, due to the popularity of such fact-ent programming as ITV’s dating reality program Love Island (pictured), and C4′s Gogglebox and First Dates.

The Pact Census is an annual report that examines the characteristics and evolution of the television production space within the UK. It is conducted by surveying Pact members, with the data then aggregated to estimate the overall size of the market.

“The indie TV sector has seen impressive growth in the past decade which is being driven by international revenue, and in particular commissions from overseas companies,” said Pact CEO John McVay in a statement. “It’s fantastic that British content is sought after around the world and that it contributes so much to the British economy.”

About The Author
Senior staff writer Frederick Blichert comes to realscreen with a background as a journalist and freelance film critic. He has previously written for VICE, Paste Magazine, Senses of Cinema, Xtra, Canadian Cinematographer and elsewhere. He holds a Master of Arts in film studies from Carleton University and a Master of Journalism from the University of British Columbia.

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