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August 2019
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  • The Production 100
    Tim Dams introduces Televisual’s Production 100 survey of the indie television sector, and reveals how producers are grappling to embrace new opportunities in a fast-changing TV landscape
  • The Genre Report: Factual TV
    Broadcasters are rethinking factual in light of streamer success in the genre. Pippa Considine reports
  • Bringing it Back
    A fresh approach to making archive docs is helping to boost their popularity with viewers. Michael Burns reports
  • IBC preview
    The Amsterdam show is a great place to check out new launches and the latest kit. Televisual offers a glimpse of what will be on offer this yea
  • HDR and Atmos
    The best way to create high-end drama using an HDR and Dolby Atmos workflow
  • Riverside returns
    A look inside the revamped London studio
From the magazine
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  • UK VFX fights to stay on top
    The UK’s vfx industry has become a world beating business, but negotiating the post Brexit landscape will be crucial for keeping it on top. Jon Creamer reports
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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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