UK television exports have defied the global recession thanks to “unrivalled” hit shows like Strictly Come Dancing.
The UK annual TV Exports Survey, collated for UK independent producers’ trade body Pact, revealed that export sales increased by 9% year-on-year to bring in a record £1.34 billion for the UK economy in 2009.
Creative & media
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“The UK has an unrivalled reputation on the global stage for producing high-quality, creative and groundbreaking TV programming”
Sir Andrew Cahn
Chief Executive of UK Trade & Investment
The biggest growth area for British programmes and formats was Australia and New Zealand with localised versions of shows including Top Gear and Masterchef proving popular Down Under.
However, the UK television industry’s biggest customer remains the US, where British formats such as American Idol (from Pop Idol) and Dancing with the Stars - the US version of Strictly Come Dancing - continue to thrive with huge audiences regularly tuning in. Sales to the US made up 36% (£485 million) of total export revenue.
Sir Andrew Cahn, chief executive of UK Trade & Investment, said: “The UK has an unrivalled reputation on the global stage for producing high-quality, creative and groundbreaking TV programming.
“TV formats such as Britain's Got Talent, Midsomer Murders and Spooks continue to captivate and inspire new audiences, demonstrating the global reach and appeal of the UK TV industry.”