TV industry in UK reaches financial milestone

The UK TV industry is now worth £3 billion with Netflix and Amazon fuelling the boom.

A new report by trade association Pact has revealed that the TV production sector reached a milestone in 2018.

UK drama has seen a huge upsurge in funding following a “decade of decline”.


International commissions and revenue from overseas have helped drive a rise in value, with the industry worth 40% more than in 2008.

Sector revenues rose to a new high of £3 billion last year, with increased commissioning and outset investment driving growth.

The Pact Census shows that UK commissioning has risen, as has the spend on drama content since 2016 after a period of less funding.

Overall spending on UK commission reached £300 million in 2018.

The report states: “Total revenues within the UK television production sector grew in 2018 to over £3 billion their highest level to date.

“Sector growth has continued at around 3% per year since 2012.

“As in recent years, international commissions continued to help drive growth in the sector. This has largely been supported by growth in the sector.

“This has largely been supported by growing spend from international SVOD services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, with spend having nearly doubled since last year.”

The spend by SVOD services rose dramatically from £150 million in 2017, to £280 million last year.

The report states: “Total reported international revenues continued to rise, growing by 20% in 2018, to £962 million, an increase of over 90% in the last five years.

“Rising international revenues continued to be driven mainly by increasing international commissions, and most significantly digital-specific commissions from on-demand services such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.”

Drama has seen a resurgence in funding since 2016, according to the Pact Census, which states: “After a long term decline, share of spending on drama content has continued to rise since 2016.

“It is now over one-third of all external UK commissions, the highest since 2009.”