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UK TV exports reach record high

The latest Pact UK TV Exports Report published on Friday 25th October shows that TV exports reached a record high of £1.4billion in 2018/9, an increase of 7% on 2017/18.

The report publication coincides with an industry roundtable at Pact’s Leeds office attended by Liz Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade, who is in the city to announce a package of export contracts from Yorkshire-based firms worth over £30 million.
Commenting on the report, Truss said:

“British TV and film exports have had another blockbuster year, with these new figures showing the incredible overseas demand for the UK’s cultural exports. The USA remains the biggest market for our world-beating TV and film industry, and once we leave the EU we will negotiate an ambitious new free trade agreement with the States to ensure even more of our industries can benefit from this golden opportunity to improve our trading relationship."

This sector is hugely important to our economy and we are working hard to ensure its continued success. - Liz Truss, Secretary of State for International Trade.

The Pact TV Exports report was produced for Pact by 3Vision with funding partners Department for International Trade, BBC Studios and ITV Studios. It found that drama dominated TV sales, with 48% of the total, followed by non-scripted factual with 23% and entertainment with 15%.

The USA remained the biggest contributor to UK export revenue (£444m), with North America in total representing 38% of all sales.
France (£115m) and Australia (£96m) maintained their positions in the top three biggest export markets.

The Nordics (£85m) and Worldwide Pan-Territory (£58m) followed and showed the most accelerated growth. A number of UK distributors are selling global deals to SVOD players including Netflix and Amazon and revenue generation from pan-worldwide deals has increased by £21m (+56%) in the past year.

MENA (Middle East & North Africa) and Latin America both showed strong growth, with 28% and 29% revenue increases respectively on the previous year.

North America (principally the US) is an important partner for co-productions (£81m) and international production revenue (£123m) – this being revenue generated by the overseas production arms of UK companies.

Europe maintained its position as the primary destination for formats, with £47m in each of the past two years. The sale of formats to the USA doubled from £9m to £20m in the past year. And exports of finished programmes globally remained high, with 69% of total sales.

Looking to the future, India, China and Latin America are the territories where UK companies felt there might be the best opportunities for expansion - each of these markets have shown strong revenue growth in the past three years.

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 UK economy.”

Paul Dempsey, President, Global Distribution, BBC Studios said: “More than ever, British television is internationally recognised as world class. The quality of work our programme makers are producing is second to none and it’s an absolute privilege to take their output to audiences across the globe.”

Ruth Berry, MD, ITV Studios Global Entertainment said: "We are delighted to see that UK exports are at an all-time high and going from strength to strength. This year we have seen pre-sales for our epic World War Two 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 UK. 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 UK content."

Download the report

Click below to read the report in full:

Pact UK TV Exports Report 2019 - Download