The British television production grew to £2.7B (US$3.5B) – its highest ever level largely thanks to a boom in commissions from global SVOD services such as Netflix and YouTube.
The figures have been published as part of the annual census published by the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television (PACT), and put together by consulting firm Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates.
The sector increased from £2.59 billion in 2016 to £2.74 billion in 2017. This was helped by a £77M boost in international TV revenue, including revenues from British producers producing shows for U.S. cable broadcasters and networks, and a £49M boom in domestic commissions for broadcasters including the BBC and Channel 4.
Primary international commissions, which grew from £468M in 2016 to £549M in 2017, remained the most prominent area of growth in the UK production sector. Revenue generated by commissions from standalone digital services rose to £150M, accounting for roughly one-third of international commissions income. Netflix was the main contributor of this 19% growth, thanks to a raft of commissions including New Pictures’ The Innocents, while YouTube Red entered the market, commissioning their first major UK series such as The Sidemen Show from Antenna Pictures.
Domestic revenues recovered to the levels last seen in 2015 and are now worth £1.55B a year. Over the last six years, domestic revenues have remained relatively consistent with any minor drops in commissioning revenue having been broadly offset by slight rises in rights income.
The genre mix of domestic commissions has also remained relatively stable, according to the PACT Census with drama accounting for 26% of UK commissions, compared to 24% last year. Entertainment, which includes shows such as ITV’s The X Factor, was steady at 25% and factual entertainment, which covers formats such as Channel 4’s Gogglebox and First Dates, dropped marginally from 24% to 23%.