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April 2019
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In the magazine
Only available in print
  • The Art of Cinematography
    Four of the UK’s most highly-sought-after cinematographers give the low down on their approach to their craft
  • Drama Production: Round Table
    Televisual invited leading drama heads of production to discuss how their role is changing as more and more ambitious scripted projects are made
  • TV Studios
    Demand for full service television studios is high and more facilities are coming online soon. Pippa Considine reports on the changing market for shiny floor studios
  • The Top 10 Cameras
    Televisual’s annual top 10 listing of the UK’s most hired cameras is now in its thirteenth year. Jon Creamer counts down the most rented models of the past year and reveals what everyone will be hiring in the year ahead
  • Going Live
    In a two part special on live production, Michael Burns finds out how major events, from the Royal Wedding to the World Cup, were brought to screen and also looks into remote production as more live shows make use of the innovative technology
  • The Corporate 50
    Televisual’s exclusive annual survey of the UK’s corporate communications business. How was 2018 for the sector?
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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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