Indie TV production sector revenues reached over £3 billion (£3.004 million) in 2018, their highest level to date and are up over 40% since 2008, according to the Pact Census published today.

The figure represents an increase of 10% since 2017 and revenues have grown by over £500 million since 2012 – a rate of 3.1% per year.

The census also found that over the past year, international revenue grew by 20% to £962 million, an increase of over 90% since 2013. This growth was primarily driven by a 28% increase in primary international commission revenues totalling £704 million in 2018. Primary international commissions include titles such as Sex Education, The Crown and Black Mirror.

Domestic TV revenues also rose by 3% to just under £1.9 billion, but remain broadly flat since 2008. This is due to PSB commissioning spend falling annually while commissioning spend from multichannels continues to grow (up by £62 million to £321 million), more than doubling since 2008 (£321 million compared with £158 million).

Commissioning income from international SVODs increased by 87% from 2017 to £280 million, accounting for 40% of all international commissioning income. Including UK VOD services (BBC iPlayer, All4, ITVHub, My5), this rose to £328 million.

Unsurprisingly, drama spend increased significantly since 2017, with over one third (35%) of all external UK commissions, the highest since 2009, while entertainment retained the second highest share of commissioning spend (25%). Dramas driving this increase include Bodyguard, The Cry and Line of Duty.

The BBC continues to commission a greater share from smallest companies compared to other PSBs (8% of its spend was with companies with less than £1 million turnover), with ITV (55%), Channel 5 (53%) and Channel 4 (50%) commissioning from the largest producers (companies with more than £70 million turnover).

Commenting on this year’s Census, Pact Chair, Sara Geater, said: “These figures show that despite the challenges that indies face domestically, there is still a huge international market looking for quality British content.
“Indies large and small should make use of Pact’s fantastic resources, such as the Export Accelerator, to ensure they are taking advantage of all of the international opportunities available to them.”

The Pact Census is an annual report conducted through a detailed financial survey of Pact members.

Staff Reporter

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