Advanced Television

Record production investment from UK commercial broadcasters

June 19, 2014

Members of the Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA) invested a record £725 million in UK television production last year, according to the 2014 Census from COBA – the industry body for digital, cable and satellite services in the UK’s commercial television and on-demand sector. This represents the highest level of investment in UK content since COBA’s census started in 2009, and is up nearly 50 per cent on 2009’s figure of £487 million.

Other key findings include:

  • Since the census started, investment in new (i.e. first-run) UK programming has risen strongly, up 53 per cent from £387 million in 2009 to £597 million last year.
  • Investment in programmes made by UK independent TV producers also recorded strong growth, up 18 per cent compared to the previous census.
  • Multichannel broadcasters have increased their investment in UK news and current affairs to nearly £90 millnio per annum, up 2.8 per cent per annum since 2011.
  • The new tax reliefs for high end TV and animation are having a positive effect, attracting production worth £447 million in their first year. This included large scale productions based across the entire UK, including London, the English regions and Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales.

Sponsored by the British Film Commission and Film London, the 2014 census covers the period 2011-2013 and builds on COBA’s 2012 census, also by leading independent media analysts Oliver & Ohlbaum (O&O).

“This is the highest recorded level of investment in UK content from COBA members and demonstrates our commitment to the sector,” said Dee Forbes, COBA chair and President and MD of Discovery Networks, Western Europe. “Our members increased their investment in overall UK television content and recorded particularly strong growth in first-run programmes and commissions from independent producers. Multichannel broadcasters are one of the fastest growing parts of the UK broadcasting sector,” she observed.

Adrian Wootton, Chief Executive of the British Film Commission and Film London, said the report which demonstrated the UK’s growing success in attracting significant international investment through television production. Thanks to our excellent tax reliefs, our world-class talent and infrastructure are welcoming a range of international and domestic production, boosting the economy and creating thousands of jobs.”

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