Strong regional TV commissioning spend

OutlanderAccording to a recent report from PACT, the UK’s independent TV production sector is worth close to £3bn to the UK economy, with over a third of commissioning spend going outside London. 

The figure illustrates a year-on-year growth of 3.5%, and is partly attributed to international rights revenue and primary commissions from overseas broadcasters. 

International rights income grew from £93m in 2014 to £152m in 2015, while overseas primary commissions grew from £599m to £697m. Overall international TV revenues account for a 13.4% increase on 2014 and make up over a third of all revenue.   

Although the census is yearly, this is the first time Pact has examined the status of regional production outside London, finding that 39% of UK commission spend was placed out of London, along with 37% of direct, full-time employment.

Scotland and the north west lead the field as the biggest regional employment hubs, which may come as a surprise as Scotland remains the only UK nation without a dedicated film studio

Scotland does host major location shoots, with Outlander – which converted an old factory in Cumbernauld as its production base – having contributed to raising the country’s filming-friendly profile internationally. 

PACT stats

Commissioning is a key part of the findings, with the BBC and Channel 4 being the biggest spenders overall in new commissions, not surprising as they have bigger commissioning budgets. 

Multichannel groups represented the largest proportion of those commissioning in 2015. These multichannel groups, together with Channel 4, showed a propensity to spend more with smaller producers, as opposed to ITV and Channel 5 that spent over 50% of their budgets with larger producers. 

John McVay, chief executive of Pact, said: "It’s great to see that revenues have bounced back in one of the UK’s leading creative industries and that it is international growth that is driving this success.” 


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