UK trade body Pact to launch U.S. outpost

UK content producers trade body Pact is to launch a U.S. outpost this year that will represent the commercial interests of American as well as UK producers working Stateside. (Pictured: Pact CEO John McVay)
January 27, 2015

UK content producers trade body Pact is to launch a U.S. outpost this year that will represent the commercial interests of American as well as UK producers working Stateside.

Addressing its reasons for establishing a U.S. branch in a release, Pact – which has 50 of its indie member companies attending the Realscreen Summit in Washington DC this week – points to the “rapid growth in the number of original commissions for UK independent production companies in the U.S. market.”

Speaking at a Realscreen Summit reception at the British Embassy in Washington DC, Pact CEO John McVay (pictured) said, “I hope all of you here – maybe not broadcasters – will help us to support building a world-class organization in the U.S.”

Outside of the UK, America is the main secondary sales and commissioning market, and the organization cites that between 2013 and 2014, all commissions outside of the UK came from the U.S., as well as 30% of UK indies’ revenues.

Similarly, according to Pact, sales for UK exports within the U.S. market rose by 10% between 2013 and 2014, representing 47% of all export revenue.

The news comes almost seven months after the July 2014 launch of the Nonfiction Producers Association (NPA) in the U.S. – a non-profit trade group comprised of American prodcos that has set out to meet the needs of the growing nonfiction industry.

Talking to realscreen at the embassy event, McVay said that Pact U.S. would try and work with the NPA where they can, if possible. He stressed, however, that the NPA only represents indie producers working in unscripted, whereas Pact U.S. is to represent indies working across all genres, including drama and children’s programming.

The exec said that Pact U.S. would initially employ two executives – one based in New York and another in LA – and will look to hire Americans for those roles. In a statement, the organization says it will shortly begin the recruitment process, which it hopes to finalize by the summer, along with the exact locations of the offices. Updates will be posted on the Pact U.S. website at

Sara Geater, chair of Pact UK, said in a statement: “Pact is a trade association whose membership has huge success creating content and conducting business globally. Pact played a key role in enabling that success so it makes sense for us to offer all producers in the U.S. our experience, and to build a trade body which reflects the interests of the ever widening global industry.”

  • Additional files by Adam Benzine
About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.