UK TV indies reach £3bn in revenue 


The UK's independent television production sector is now worth more than £3bn in revenues.

The latest edition of an annual report from Pact, the indie sector's trade association, shows how the sector has grown year-on-year and now generates four times the revenues it did nine years ago.

International earnings grew by 12% to £939million in 2013, and now account for almost a third of the UK indepedent television sector’s revenues. Overseas, revenues have almost tripled since 2008. 

Specifically, in 2013 revenues from international subsidiaries and overseas commissioning grew 14 per cent from £670m to £765m, whilst revenues from sales of UK programming abroad reported more modest 3% growth from £152m to £156m.

All the figures are based on a census of 2013 financial returns supplied by Pact members to produce a representative sample of the UK's independent television industry.

Welcoming the results, John McVay, Chief Executive of Pact, said: "With decades of award winning programmes produced both here and around the world, UK television is yet again showing why it is one of the leading creative industries.

“At the heart of that success is our independent production sector, which brings competition, innovation and entrepreneurship to the benefit of broadcasters and viewers.

"International audiences want British TV productions – commissioners know they will get the highest quality of programming when they buy British.  This is a major business success story and it is testament to the talent in the UK’s indie production sector."

Mark Oliver, Chief Executive, Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates Ltd, which collates the figures, said: It is O&O’s sixth year of conducting the Pact census. The UK’s independent production sector has again this year improved upon its recent and consistent strong medium-term growth performance both in the UK and overseas.

"Overseas markets delivered significant incremental revenue growth as international broadcasters continue to look to the UK’s indie sector.  There are positive signs of growth in non-TV driven by new media activities with more smaller specialised companies coming through in this year’s census. ”

Key findings in the census include:

  • Overall revenues are up 8.1% from £2.8billion in 2012 to £3billon in 2013.
  • International sales are now worth £939million – almost triple the value of international revenues in 2008.
  • UK primary commissioning of indie programming has grown by 8.4% year-on-year to £1.67billion – the highest figure in this bracket on record.
  • Profitability is stable overall with margins improved slightly in 2013.
  • The public service broadcasters’ spend dominates primary commissioning, but multichannel commissioning (£381m) is notable with 59% year-on-year growth.
  • Commissioning trends show factual entertainment is the most significant growth genre (up from 12% to 17%); drama is up to 31% while entertainment - down to 34% - remains the largest commissioned genre for individual producers.

See Pact website here for more information on the organisation's activities.