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  • Sunday, December, 2022| Today's Market | Current Time: 10:32:12
  • Next to the US, the UK’s TV industry stands out as one of the most successful in the world. With so many of us stuck at home in 2020, unsurprisingly, the UK TV industry made £1.48 billion ($1.97 billion) on its exports alone.

    When a show does well in its home market, it’s natural for its producers to try to sell it to overseas markets. In this manner, the show can gain international viewers when studios from other countries add the show to their own networks or alter the format for their own markets in order to duplicate the show’s popularity.

    With UK TV shows coming into the mainstream around the world, it’s high time we’ve given the phenomenon a closer look. Thanks to lots of research from Betway, we can, hopefully, shed some light on what it takes for a show to go from the UK classic to a worldwide sensation.

    Where Does UK TV Make Its Export Money?

    Directly exported complete TV shows like Doctor Who and Downton Abbey made up a 70% majority of 2020’s export sales. By comparison, international adaptations of popular UK show formats like Love Island made up just 11% of the industry’s total sales last year.

    According to the research, the United States is Britain’s most important export market, contributing 32% of 2020’s total income, or £466 million ($622.5 million), up £22 million ($29.3 million) from the previous year. The next top three consumers of UK TV exports being France, with £102 million ($136.3 million), Australia, with £98 million ($131 million), and China. China was recognized as a market with growth potential last year, and revenues from the area increased by 25% to £40 million (53.4 million).

    Which UK TV Shows Are Succeeding the Most Globally?

    While scripted shows continue to be UK TV’s most lucrative source of export revenue, the country’s unscripted formats also perform quite well. Globally, the UK is the leading producer of unscripted TV show formats, accounting for 42% of worldwide export sales in 2020.

    Among scripted TV shows, some of the UK’s most popular series to have been adapted for international audiences are The Office, Chernobyl, His Dark Materials, and Doctor Who.

    However, other locally popular UK shows like Skins and The Inbetweeners failed to find the same amount of appeal, likely due to a lack of script adaptation causing the shows not to resonate with the US and international audiences.

    Among unscripted shows, some formats that have been very popular internationally include Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, Love Island, and Got Talent.

    UK TV Exports Moving Forward

    Over the following five years, the UK’s entertainment and media income is anticipated to rise from £71.3 billion in 2021 to £87.9 billion in 2025. This may be largely because subscription video on demand (SVOD) services are predicted to expand as well, with global subscribers reaching 1.495 billion by 2026. This is good news for UK businesses, as on-demand platforms currently account for 38% of all international sales.

    Currently, Europe as a whole constitutes the UK’s second-largest TV export market, but this is expected to change as the effects of Brexit become clear. Already, it’s been said that EU members are anxious to reduce UK television’s dominance across the continent in order to increase “cultural diversity” and allow smaller programs from other nations to thrive.

    However, this presents a chance for the UK to strengthen its ties with other export markets such as the United States, Latin America, and Asia. Take, for example, GloboPlay in Brazil, which just struck a major agreement with ITV Studios for more than 400 hours of UK programming in 2021.


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