Published: 11.12 UTC, March 21, 2011

The UK’s non-public service broadcasters are spending more on original content than Channel 4 and Channel 5 combined, according to the Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA).

The report, written by Deloitte on behalf of the Satellite and Cable Broadcasters’ Group (SCBG) to mark the group’s rebranding as COBA, shows a total of £432 million spent on UK commissions in 2009. This represents an increase of 7.5% on the previous year.

COBA’s total content spend of £1,639 million is across a range of genres. Its 40% share of total spend is ahead of all comers including the BBC. There is no breakdown as to who is spending the most of UK content, though it is obvious that Sky would dominate the arena, with contribution from Discovery Channel, UKTV, MTV and Turner Broadcasting.

Dee Forbes, EVP & managing director Discovery Networks UK and Western Europe, who takes over as chair of COBA today explains: “This is a crucial year for UK broadcasting as the starter pistol is sounded for the creation of a new Communications Act that will last into the middle of the next decade. COBA members are already significant investors in people, content and the economy in the UK and we want a fair regulatory environment to encourage further investment.

COBA says it is rebranding to better reflect the increased products, services and UK content provided by its members and its increasing importance to the creative industries and the UK economy.