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October 2017
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  • The Facilities 50
    Jon Creamer launches Televisual's 30th exclusive annual Facilities 50 survey featuring the top post production houses in the UK and 52 pages of analysis of the sector
  • Interview: Grant Mansfield
    Hiring top talent and investing heavily in development have been key to growing his Bristol indie Plimsoll Productions, says founder Grant Mansfield
  • The clear view: lenses
    What ever genre you work in, you need to be lens savvy. Here three DoPs guide us through the lens market, picking out the models they like to use in drama and factual
  • Over the top
    The growth of Netflix and Amazon is proving a boon for UK indies, but broadcasters are starting to panic. Tim Dams reports
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  • Blue Planet II
    The producers of Blue Planet II tell Tim Dams how tech advances and military planning helped them capture the secrets of the deep
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Reports&
surveys

Production 100 2012 Back to Reports & survey Listing

Foreign investors are in charge of UK production companies with a combined turnover of £1bn. It means that almost half of the sector is foreign-owned, given that the top 100 indies turned over £2.1bn in 2011/12.

Indeed, seven of the top ten superindies in the UK are foreign-owned:  Shine Group  was acquired by News Corp last year; Endemol UK is part of the eponymous Dutch group; Zodiak UK belongs to Italian conglomerate De Agostini Group; IMG Sport is the UK production arm of US sports giant IMG; FremantleMedia belongs to European TV giant RTL Group; Shed Media is majority owned by US studio Warner Bros; and NBC Universal has a significant presence here through its ownership of Carnival Films and Monkey.

Meanwhile, Sony Pictures Television International is also building its presence in the UK, owning Silver River, Gogglebox and Victory. It is also reported to be buying leading drama producer Left Bank. German production group Red Arrow Entertainment is also investing in the UK, owning The Mob, Nerd TV, CPL and Endor. And broadcaster Discovery earlier this year acquired factual producer Betty.

A number of factors are driving the international takeover of the UK production sector: the UK’s favourable rights environment, the appeal of English-language content internationally, and the depth of talent in the UK market.

The incursion of US studios into the UK, in particular, has raised fears amongst some local execs of the “Coca-Cola-isation” of the UK production sector, with the big groups only interested in producing bland formats designed explicitly for international markets rather than shows designed specifically for the UK market.

On the plus side, UK production companies owned by well resourced international players have greater access to capital to help them fund shows. NBC Universal, for example, has provided vital funding to raise the budget of ITV’s global hit Downton Abbey, made by NBC-owned Carnival Films.

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