Drama Drives U.K. TV Export Gains


U.K. television exports generated £1.48 billion in 2019-20, a 6 percent gain on the previous year, according to data released by Pact.

The UK TV Exports report notes that drama was a key driver, accounting for 48 percent of all revenues, lifted by hits such as ChernobylHis Dark MaterialsThe War of The WorldsThe Feed and Doctor Who. Meanwhile, factual increased its share from 23 percent to 28 percent.

By market, the U.S. remains the biggest for U.K. television exports, contributing £466 million, or 32 percent of revenues. France generated £102 million, followed by Australia at £98 million. Looking ahead, China–which contributed £40 million in revenues, a 25 percent increase—and LatAm are key growth opportunities.

Revenues from the sales of formats rose by 39 percent to £119 million, with 51 percent coming from Europe. Co-productions were up 6 percent to £113 million. Sales of finished programming, 70 percent of the total, topped the £1 billion mark for the same time, rising by 7 percent.

About 22 percent of U.K. TV export revenues came from sales of library content (four or more years old), down from 38 percent last year.

“British TV content—and in particular drama—continues to be attractive to a global audience,” said Pact CEO John McVay. “The quality of U.K. production is admired around the world and this is evident from these record figures. Despite the pandemic, Pact has been working hard to ensure that our members are able to continue to meet with and showcase their work to international buyers, through our Content Without Borders events and ongoing support of markets such as MIPCOM and Realscreen.”