International revenues grow for UK TV

International revenues for the UK's television industry continued to race ahead before the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, according to two separate surveys.

Both the surveys were published by Pact, the industry body for independent TV, film, animation, digital and chidlren's media producers.

Accordingo the UK TV Exports Report, the value of UK television exports increased by 6 per cent year-on-year to a new high of £1.48 billion in 2019-20, with buoyant sales in major markets such as the USA boosted by faster growing opportunities such as China.

The USA continued to be the most important market for UK television exports contributing 32 per cent (£466m) of all revenue in the 2019/20 financial year. Sales from France (£102m) and Australia (£98m) completed the top three markets for Britain's TV industry. 

TV sales remained the largest source of income (70 per cent of the total) and surpassed £1 billion for the first time. Library sales (defined as content which is at least four years old) comprised 22 per cent of revenues. 

With production largely halted past March 2020, it is the possible that the industry could see an increased contribution from library sales in the next financial year.

Total revenues in the UK's independent TV production sector revenues reached a new record of £3.3 billion in 2019, according to the Pact UK Production Census. This growth was driven by international revenues breaking £1 billion for the first time – an increase of 11 per cent on 2018, and a rise of 30 per cent over the past five years.

The Census reveals that the sector’s fastest growing revenue stream – international – reached £1,251 million, a 30 per cent increase on 2018.

Commissions from international linear TV services rose by £226 million in 2019, accounting for the majority of growth, whilst revenue generated by commissions from SVOD services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime grew again, reaching £337m.

Domestic revenues also reached a new high of £1,943 million, a 3 per cent increase on 2018.

The survey was conducted by Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates for Pact.


Source: TV Exports Report, Pact, January 2021; Pact UK Production Census, October 2020