U.K. TV Exports Hit Record High of £1.4 Billion


According to the latest Pact UK TV Exports report, TV exports from Britain reached a record high of £1.4 billion ($1.8 billion) in 2018-19, a 7-percent increase on the prior-year period.

Drama dominated TV sales, with 48 percent of the total, followed by non-scripted factual with 23 percent and entertainment with 15 percent.

The U.S. remained the largest contributor to U.K. export revenue ($492 million), with North America in total representing 38 percent of all sales. France ($148 million) and Australia ($123 million) remained in the top three biggest export markets. The Nordics ($109 million) and worldwide pan-territory ($74 million) followed and showed the most accelerated growth. With U.K. distributors clinching global deals with SVOD players like Netflix and Amazon, revenue generation from pan-worldwide deals has increased by £21 million ($27 million; 56 percent) in the past year. The Middle East and North Africa and Latin America both showed solid growth, with 28-percent and 29-percent revenue increases, respectively.

North America—principally the U.S.—is an important partner for co-productions ($104 million) and international production revenue ($158 million)—this being revenue generated by the overseas production arms of U.K. companies.

Regarding formats, Europe maintained its position as the primary destination for U.K. formats, with £47 million ($60 million) in each of the past two years. The sale of formats to the U.S. doubled, from £9 million ($12 million) to £20 million ($26 million) in the past year. Exports of finished programs globally remained high, with 69 percent of total sales.

India, China and Latin America are cited as the territories where U.K. companies felt there might be the best opportunities for expansion, as each has shown strong revenue growth in the past three years.

The report was produced for Pact by 3Vision with funding partners Department for International Trade, BBC Studios and ITV Studios.

Pact’s chief executive, John McVay, said: “It’s no surprise that we’re seeing a record year for TV exports. The compelling stories that our creatives craft resonate beyond borders. It’s fantastic to see the success of the TV industry—and, in particular, drama—contributing so much to the U.K. economy.”

Paul Dempsey, president of global distribution at BBC Studios, said: “More than ever, British television is internationally recognized as world-class. The quality of work our program-makers are producing is second to none and it’s an absolute privilege to take their output to audiences across the globe.”

Ruth Berry, managing director of ITV Studios Global Entertainment, said: “We are delighted to see that U.K. exports are at an all-time high and going from strength to strength. This year we have seen presales for our epic World War II drama World On Fire reach 120 territories and the forthcoming, hugely anticipated The War of the Worlds selling right across the world to over 220 territories before being broadcast in the U.K. With our spellbinding natural-history series Magical Land of Oz also finding a home in more than 125 territories, these titles alone support the findings of the report and we are excited about the increasing global appetite for U.K. content.”