London, [Sep 13, 2023] – The U.K. television industry celebrated a milestone in 2022, reporting a staggering total sector revenue of nearly £4 billion ($5 billion), according to the latest production census by Pact, a local producers’ organization. The year marked a remarkable boom, fueled by a surge in both domestic and international commissions, particularly driven by increased streaming investments.
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Domestic TV revenues soared to £2.2 billion, while international revenues reached £1.6 billion, reflecting an impressive 70% increase. Breakout British hits like Netflix’s “The Crown” and “Sex Education” played a pivotal role in this success, alongside streaming giants like Apple TV+ and Disney+ investing heavily in local originals.
Pact’s CEO, John McVay, lauded the industry’s resilience, stating, “2022 was clearly a big boom year, both domestically and internationally. The U.K. is still seen as a prime destination for substantial content investments, which is excellent news not only for our members but for everyone in the supply and value chains.”
However, amid the jubilation, McVay issued a cautious warning. He noted that many networks had over-committed to commissions in 2022, partly due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, which significantly delayed commissions into 2023. As a result, McVay anticipated that next year’s census might not show growth and could resemble figures from 2019.
In 2019, the industry reached a 10-year peak with a turnover of £3.3 billion, but in 2020, the figure plummeted to £2.8 billion due to multiple pandemic lockdowns. Remarkably, the industry rebounded in 2022, achieving a turnover of £3.2 billion.
The looming challenges for the U.K. TV industry in 2023 include a slowdown in commissions and rising inflation. McVay referred to this confluence of factors as a “perfect storm” that could affect the industry’s financial performance in the coming year.
Pact has diligently recorded annual census data since 2004, providing valuable insights into the dynamics and trends of the U.K. television industry. As stakeholders closely watch for developments in the industry, 2023 promises to be a year of reckoning, as the sector navigates its way through uncharted territory.
While the U.K. TV industry basks in the glow of its record-breaking year in 2022, the challenges of 2023 loom large, casting a shadow of uncertainty over its future. Industry players are bracing themselves for what could be a year of significant change and adaptation in response to shifting market dynamics.