TV industry survey finds more stressful working conditions reported during pandemic

TV industry workers don’t want to return to full-time permanent office work after the COVID-19 pandemic, and many feel they’re working in a more stressful environment, according to the results ...
April 26, 2021

TV industry workers don’t want to return to full-time permanent office work after the COVID-19 pandemic, and many feel they’re working in a more stressful environment, according to the results of a new survey.

The inaugural Content Industry Monitor results were released by UK-based industry podcast Tellycast and WorkShare Consulting on Friday. The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were the survey’s main line of questioning.

According to its findings, just nine per cent of TV industry executives responding said they wanted to return to full-time permanent office work after the pandemic. Nearly half of the survey’s respondents instead said they’d prefer either two or three days per week back in their regular offices.

While nearly all respondents reported some negative effects to their workplace due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 47 per cent said no redundancies were required. More than 80 per cent of respondents also said they think their employer is doing enough to support staff during the pandemic.

But, unsurprisingly, the COVID-19 pandemic has still contributed to a stressful working environment in the TV industry this past year. Sixty per cent of executives reported working longer hours during the pandemic, with 55 per cent reporting an increase in stress.

Also, the Content Industry Monitor pointed to the major diversity problem that still exists in the TV industry. A large 83 per cent majority of respondents said they see a lack of “Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic” (BAME) representation in the industry. Another line of questioning found that 66 per cent of respondents believe there isn’t a level playing field for these same people to progress to leadership roles.

Virtual industry events were also a topic of question in the survey, with 64 per cent saying they find them to be a worse alternative to their in-person counterparts. But more than half said they nevertheless see virtual events as a big part of the industry going forward.

Roughly half of respondents said they still plan to attend major annual events such as MIPCOM and MIPTV, with 51 and 47 per cent respectively. Following those two events, 30 per cent said they’d still attend the Edinburgh TV Festival, 26 per cent of those polled said they’d still attend the Realscreen Summit and 23 per cent said they’d still attend IBC. Nineteen per cent said they would attend NATPE and NEM.

But safety is still on the minds of many in the TV industry when considering in-person events. More than half of respondents told the Content Industry Monitor that live events should require COVID-19 testing as an entry requirement, and 47 per cent said these events should only be for vaccinated attendees.

Looking ahead to when the COVID-19 pandemic ends, 34 per cent of respondents said they predict their company will return to pre-COVID revenue in 12 to 18 months after the pandemic. Meanwhile, 19 per cent said their revenue already exceeds pre-COVID levels.

The Content Industry Monitor is a survey aiming to find how the global TV industry feels about the key issues it faces. The survey takes responses from people across the industry. Jonathan Broughton, Workshare Consulting’s managing director, said a high proportion of the respondents were based in the U.K.

Around a third of the survey’s responses came from production and production-adjacent companies, said Justin Crosby of TellyCast. Crosby added that events and distribution staff, research/trade press, streamers, broadcasters, vendors, format developers and markets were all surveyed too, and that more than 500 senior TV industry executives responded to the survey.

The Content Industry Monitor represents an amazing opportunity to understand the readiness of the industry to return and to tackle critical questions in the market,” said Jonathan Broughton, managing director of Workshare Consulting. “Whether that be a return to physical events or working in an office this partnership with TellyCast has been an amazingly revealing and rewarding experience.

“It’s packed with revealing insights into a year in TV, the likes of which we’ve never seen before,” added Tellycast founder and host Justin Crosby. “I hope industry executives will find the survey as fascinating as we do.”

About The Author
Jillian Morgan is the Associate Editor at Realscreen with a background in journalism and digital marketing. She joined the publication in 2019 after serving as the assistant editor to trade publications HPAC and On-Site. With a bachelor of journalism from the University of King's College in Halifax, she also works as a freelance writer and fact-checker.