Total TV production sector revenues in the UK hit a new high of £2.7 billion (€3bn) in 2017, a rise of nearly a third over the past decade, according to Pact’s annual census.
The independent TV sector has shown steady growth at 1.9 per cent per year since 2012, equivalent to roughly £50 million per year.
This growth has been driven by international revenue which has doubled over the past eight years to £802 million, from £389 million in 2010. This growth has been bolstered by commissions from overseas companies growing by 13 per cent per year over the past 3 years. Programmes that are particularly popular overseas include Victoria, Sherlock and Midsomer Murders.
Commissioning revenue from overseas on-demand services (such as Netflix and Amazon Prime) also increased by 19 per cent year-on-year to £150 million and accounted for nearly one third of international commissioning revenue with series such as The Crown, Black Mirror and The Grand Tour.
Smaller companies take the opportunity to scale up
The Census continues to show how competitive and successful the market is at growing smaller companies to take the opportunity to scale up. This year more smaller companies moved into the £25-70 million turnover bracket than ever before – up 13 per cent over eight years – and share of the total market for this band has doubled over the same period.
Overall, UK commissioning continues to support both small and large producers but support for smaller producers has strengthened over the past eight years with the BBC and Channel 4 in particular both having tripled their commissioning budget spend on companies with less than £10 million turnover over the past four years.
Spend on factual entertainment almost doubles in five years
The Census also looks at the value of commissions by genre and shows that spend on factual entertainment commissions has almost doubled since 2012 (12 per cent to 23 per cent). Factual entertainment includes shows such as Love Island, Gogglebox and First Dates.
Commenting on the Census findings, Pact Chief Executive John McVay said: “The indie TV sector has seen impressive growth in the past decade which is being driven by international revenue, and in particular commissions from overseas companies. It’s fantastic that British content is sought after around the world and that it contributes so much to the British economy”.