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June 2019
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surveys

Production 100, 2017 Back to Reports & survey Listing

Welcome to the Production 100 2017, Televisual's annual survey of the UK indie TV sector.

2017 marks the 25th year of the Production 100. Before 1993, Televisual used to survey the entire production sector in one go, comparing TV indies with their counterparts in film, commercials and corporate production. But as the production market matured and TV indies grew in number, Televisual stopped measuring companies who made 60-second commercials against those who made 60-minute dramas – and so the Production 100 was born.

Many of the companies which appeared in the Production 100 back then are still thriving today. Mentorn was the top indie in 1993, in a list that also included Hat Trick, Wall to Wall, Windfall, Twenty Twenty, Carnival, Tiger Aspect, Sunset & Vine and Talkback. Other big companies from 1993 have morphed into today’s superindies, like Broadcast Communications (which was acquired by Endemol) and TWI (IMG).

Despite this sense of continuity, the sector has transformed in the past 25 years. Back then indies had just three key clients: the BBC, ITV and Channel 4. Most of today’s biggest indies are part of global media conglomerates, and produce shows for a raft of broadcasters in the UK and internationally as well as for deep pocketed streaming platforms. The average turnover of a Production 100 indie in 1993 was £2.6m; now it is £21.7m.

However, after many years of growth, there’s a feeling in this year’s Production 100 that the indie sector is at a turning point. Certainly, the business landscape is changing very rapidly, making it a challenge for many producers.

Brexit has clouded the economic horizon. More specifically, the rise of streaming services like Netflix and Amazon is transforming the way television is viewed. Indies say their key UK broadcaster clients are tightening their belts as a result, spending less on programmes amid expectations of reduced ad income.  Most indies say the number one challenge they face in 2017 is falling programme budgets, despite broadcaster ambitions being higher than ever.

Of course, the prizes are bigger than ever for those producers who can take advantage of the new landscape. Left Bank Pictures, for example, climbs to second place in the Production 100 thanks to mega-budget commissions like Netflix’s The Crown. But the struggle to win such valuable commissions is intensifying in a sector that has become even more competitive following a spate of high profile indie launches in recent years. One thing is for certain: the next 25 years is going to be interesting...

How it works
Every year, we send survey forms to TV production companies and ask a series of questions. The facts provided, for the period July 2016-June 2017, form the basis of the P100. The top 100 are ranked according to turnover. Thank you to all who took part, especially those who did not quite make it into the P100.

Thank you
Televisual is hugely grateful to lead designer Sandra Clua at effects, grading and editing facility Big Buoy, who created this standout cover design for our Production 100 issue. bigbuoytv.co.uk.

Tim Dams,
Editor



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