UK production growth outpaces general economy
Joseph O'Halloran
| 20 June 2014
The UK TV production market is in rude health according to a report from The Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA).

The body for commercial broadcasters and their on-demand services in the UK comprising the likes of A+E Networks, BSkyB, Chinese Channel, Discovery Networks, Fox International Channels, NBCUniversal, QVC, Scripps Networks International, Sony Pictures Television, The Walt Disney Company, Turner Broadcasting and Viacom found that overall programmes commissioned by COBA members and PSBs, as well as inward investment productions, are benefitting from the new high-end TV and animation production tax reliefs.

Multichannel was found to be the growth engine of the UK TV industry as TV revenues have continued to rise since 2009. This increase has mainly been driven by the growth in subscription revenues, with licence fee revenues only showing modest growth and advertising still recovering from recent years' downturn.

The survey calculated that programmes made by COBA members, PSBs and inward investment productions attracted 447 million. Overall investment in content (UK and non-domestic) has grown at 5% a year since 2011, reaching 725 million by the end of 2013. Investment in first-run (ie new) UK production grew at an even higher rate of 7% a year. Over a third of UK-originated content investment goes towards supporting the independent production sector. Of that, more than two-thirds is spent on smaller indies.

Overall, over a third of UK content investment from COBA members goes towards supporting the independent production sector. The highest area of growth amongst COBA members was investment in UK content from external producers, which rose 9.8% a year since 2011 and more than two-thirds of independent investment is spent with smaller producers.

Investment in all content (UK and non-domestic) grew at 5% CAGR while content investment growth was 5.5%. That for first-run UK production grew at an even higher rate of 7% CAGR, equating to an increase of 75 million in first-run originated content between 2011 and 2013.

The UK was also found to be a hub for news and current affairs production, with investment by multichannel broadcasters worth nearly 90 million a year. This investment in UK news production is growing at 2.8% per annum. Investment by multichannel broadcasters in UK news and current affairs production from multiple providers including Sky News, CNN and CNBC is worth almost 90 million per year and has increased at 2.8% per annum since 2011.