The UK television industry enjoyed another strong export year in 2013, as sales to China and the USA helped grow total overseas TV programme sales by 5 per cent from £1.22bn to £1.28bn.
During 2013 UK TV exports to the USA rose more than 10 per cent to £523m, underlining the USA's role as the single most important export market for UK television businesses, according the latest UK Television Exports Report, published by Pact, the trade association for UK film, television, games and interactive sectors.
China is however the fastest growing export market for the UK, with UK exports increasing by 40 per cent to £17m.
High-end drama shows such as The Musketeers, Atlantis and Mr Selfridge were the biggest single source of income for the country's programme-makers, delivering £644m of sales (up 4 per cent year on year).
Sales of TV formats rose by 17 per cent, whilst revenue from digital rights grew 72 per cent.
John McVay, CEO of Pact, said:
"The report shows that UK television productions remain amongst the most highly regarded and sought after globally. The year-on-year growth we've seen is a reflection of the sector's ability to cotinually innovate and attract new markets and we should feel extremely proud that UK content is the envy of the world."
Pact has also launched its first global TV exports bible for independent production companies at MIPCOM, the international TV buying festival.
Produced with KPMG, the online bible – believed to be the first of its kind – will provide information for independent production companies on the TV commissioning landscape in 56 different territories across the world.
This comprehensive one-stop shop will enable companies to click and search for countries that they want details on, and find information such as:
Pact will continually work to update the bible and intends to expand on it to include other territories over the next year.
Mr McVay, of Pact, says:
“With TV exports now a £multi-billion business for the UK, Pact is aiming to help UK companies to further grow their businesses internationally by producing a comprehensive guide to the global TV business.
“From financing in Albania, to the commissioning landscape in Fiji, the TV Export Bible is a vital tool for any business with exports potential”.
Supporting the launch of the TV Export Bible, Ed Vaizey, Minister for Culture and the Digital Economy, said:
"The UK is the second biggest exporter of TV formats in the world. Our TV industry's international sales are worth almost a billion pounds, which is nearly three times what they were in 2008. This country's TV industry is a global success - we make programmes the world wants to watch."