TV trade body Pact has published its annual census which reveals that TV production sector income hit a new high of £2.7bn in 2017, driven by increased international revenue.
The figure represents a rise of nearly a third over the past decade, according to the census.
The independent TV sector has shown steady growth at 1.9 per cent per year since 2012, equivalent to roughly £50 million per year.
This growth has been driven by international revenue which has doubled over the past eight years to £802 million, from £389 million in 2010. This growth has been bolstered by commissions from overseas companies growing by 13% per year over the past 3 years with big hits including Victoria, Sherlock and Midsomer Murders.
Commissioning revenue from overseas on-demand services (such as Netflix and Amazon Prime) also increased by 19 per cent year-on-year to £150 million and accounted for nearly one third of international commissioning revenue with series such as The Crown, Black Mirror and The Grand Tour.
The Pact Census, now in its thirteenth year, is conducted through a detailed financial survey of Pact members, with the data then aggregated to estimate the overall size of the market.
The census also showed that this year more smaller companies moved into the £25-70m turnover bracket than ever before – up 13% over eight years – and share of the total market for this band has doubled over the same period.
Overall, UK commissioning continues to support both small and large producers but support for smaller producers has strengthened over the past eight years with the BBC and Channel 4 in particular both having tripled their commissioning budget spend on companies with less than £10 million turnover over the past four years.
The census also looks at the value of commissions by genre and shows that spend on factual entertainment commissions has almost doubled since 2012 (12% to 23%).
Commenting on the Census findings, Pact Chief Executive John McVay said: “The indie TV sector has seen impressive growth in the past decade which is being driven by international revenue, and in particular commissions from overseas companies. It’s fantastic that British content is sought after around the world and that it contributes so much to the British economy”.
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