TV plays vital role in UK economy

ITV, PACT, Channel 4 and BSkyB have jointly commissioned an independent report into the contribution made by the UK audiovisual industry to the economic growth and cultural success of the nation – and how that momentum can be sustained.

The Chief Executives of all four organisations have also written to the Prime Minister, David Cameron, about the vital importance to the UK of the audiovisual sector’s continued investment in original content – and the increasing need to exploit it across a range of different new platforms and devices. In particular they warn that a weakening of the Intellectual Property regime in the UK threatens to undermine the sectors’ ability to reinvest profits in economic growth and job creation – and to support innovation and cultural diversity.

According to the report, by Robin Foster and Tom Broughton of Communications Chambers, the UK is now arguably the world’s leading creative laboratory for television with over 500 channels competing for customer attention.

The report shows that:
* The audiovisual sector invests £4 billion every year in UK content.
* The sector supports over 7,000 firms ranging from start-ups to world leading production companies and supports 132,000 jobs.
* In 2008 independent production in the UK was worth over £2.2 billion – an increase of almost 170 per cent on 10 years earlier.
* In 2010 almost half of expenditure on UK originated content went to independent production companies.
* The UK TV sector has a global competitive advantage: the international sale of UK TV programmes and associated activities grew to £1,337 million in 2009, a 127 per cent increase on 2006.
* A strong IP regime has been a key factor in the strength of the creative industries in the UK and that a weakening of the regime could lead to a vicious spiral of declining revenues, investments and audiences.

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