People/Biz

COVID-19: UK indies report $313M in losses, dwindling reserves in Pact survey

UK trade organization Pact released the results of a survey regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the indie production sector Friday (April 17), with members reporting average losses ...
April 17, 2020

UK trade organization Pact released the results of a survey regarding the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the indie production sector Friday (April 17), with members reporting average losses of £2.6 million per company.

Those losses, resulting from cancelled or postponed productions, amount to more than £250 million (USD$313 million) overall.

Of the 100 respondents surveyed, 21% said they either had no reserve or expected reserves to last for a maximum of two months. Overall, 61% said that they expect reserves to last for a maximum of six months.

When asked about research and development, 58% of indies said that they would be scaling back on those efforts, with half of those scaling back “significantly.”

Despite the grim outlook, 61% said they had current commissioning opportunities in the UK, and 29% had international commissioning opportunities.

Respondents were split, Pact reported, on whether the government is providing the “right level of support,” with 41% saying “yes” and 41% “no.”

On a scale of one to 10, indies surveyed reported the Job Retention Scheme was a six in terms of how helpful it would be for their company, and the one-off £10,000 grant was rated a 3.5 on the same scale.

Just 30% of the members said that their non-UK revenues would help them through this crisis, with 37% of respondents having no non-UK revenues at all.

“The survey shows the worrying financial impact this crisis is having on our members and particularly smaller indies,” Pact CEO John McVay said in a statement. “It’s encouraging that broadcasters are still commissioning, although it remains to be seen how their smaller budgets impact on revenues during the pandemic.”

About The Author
Daniele Alcinii is a news editor at realscreen, the leading international publisher of non-fiction film and television industry news and content. He joined the RS team in 2015 with experience in journalism following a stint out west with Sun Media in Edmonton's Capital Region, and with communications work in Melbourne, Australia and Toronto. You can follow him on Twitter at @danielealcinii.

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