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UK multichannel broadcaster revenues hit £5bn

The UK’s multichannel broadcast sector has grown its revenues to £5 billion (US$8.2 billion) a year, overtaking the BBC and commercial public service broadcasters, according to the Commercial Broadcasters Association.

According to a new report by media consultancy the Communications Chambers, on behalf of COBA, the UK multichannel sector now broadcasts 127 non-UK channels to the rest of the world, with employment in the UK TV industry doubling over the last decade to 12,300 people.

The report said that “the majority of international broadcasters” are now basing their European headquarters in the UK and that multichannel broadcasters have helped provide the “critical mass” the UK needs to compete globally.

As a result, the UK has become a “leading exporter of TV”, with 62% of companies surveyed claiming that they intend to increase investment in ‘high end TV and animation’ following the introduction of the new tax reliefs.

“In all genres, the UK’s multichannel sector has increased investment in UK content by nearly 30% in the last three years, with seven out of 10 international broadcasters committing to increasing investment further over the next five years,” said the report.

Some 67% of UK multichannels were also found to now commission content for both domestic and international audiences.

The UK’s minister for culture, communications and creative industries Ed Vaizey, who spoke at a launch event for the report last night, said: “The commercial broadcasting sector is already an important factor in ensuring the UK can compete globally; industry and the government can work together to harness its growing contribution to the UK.”

COBS members include Turner Broadcasting System, Viacom, Disney and Sky.

The British Film Commission and Film London sponsored the report.