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UK multichannel operators programming spend hits £2.2 billion

The main providers of commercial digital channels in the UK spent a cumulative £2.2 billion on content last year, according to new research.

Oliver & Ohlbaum’s Economic Impact Report for COBA, the industry body for UK-based multichannel operators, breaks down the programming spend of the group’s membership, which includes Discovery, BSkyB, Fox International Channels, NBCUniversal, QVC, SBS, Sony, Turner, Viacom and Disney.

A third of the total £2.2 billion was spent on UK-originated fare. COBA added that a third of the original content spend was with independents and that 70% was allocated to smaller producers .

The preliminary report findings were released Monday ahead of it being released last night at an event at the House of Commons. It does not break out spend across all genres, but does show that investment in kids content by Coba members increased from £17.7 million in 2009 to £28.6 million in 2011.

The research also confirms the UK as the leading European base for multichannel operators. “UK is the leading European media hub for COBA members,” the report states. “In addition to their UK channel businesses, much of their European operations are based and broadcast out of the UK. Non-domestic channels targeted at other European markets are much more likely to be situated in the UK than any other European country.”