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Third of UK indie revenues now int’l

JohnMcVay_NewInternational revenues now account for almost a third of UK indies’ sales, new data shows, with the figure approaching £1 billion (US$1.6 billion).

Global revenues grew 12% year-on-year in 2013 and accounted for £939 million in revenues, or 31% of the total, according to Pact’s Independent Production Sector Financial Census and Survey 2014.

This is almost triple the value of the sector in 2008.

Revenues from UK prodcos’ overseas subsidiaries and overseas commissioning grew 14% – or £95 million – to reach £765 million, while revenue growth from sales showed “modest growth” and accounted for £156 million. Primary international commissions grew to £640 million.

“International audiences want British TV productions – commissioners know they will get the highest quality of programming when they buy British,” said Pact CEO John McVay (pictured). “This is a major business success story and it is testament to the talent in the UK’s indie production sector.”

“Overseas markets delivered significant incremental revenue growth as international broadcasters continue to look to the UK’s indie sector,” added Mark Oliver, CEO of  Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates, which compiled the data for Pact.

Overall sector revenues were up 8.1%, with primary UK commissions growing for the second year running and helping a reach a total figure of more than an estimated £3 billion.

However, UK rights income fell for the first time in six years last year, from £336 million in 2012 to £303 million in 2013.

The census also showed small- and mid-sized indies were taking a larger share of commissions from UK broadcasters, particularly Channel 4 and Channel 5.

Pact’s census was conducted between March and May 2014 and comprised 60 responses from the indie community. These companies accounted for £1.83 billion of total industry turnover in 2013.