About 10 days ago my team and I published an analysis of the creative challenges for UK TV. Our concerns were that the creative basis of our TV economy was being damaged, despite an environment of increasing revenues, driven by TV's role in reinforcing the telecoms market through triple and quad-play bundling.
What we found was troubling. Although revenues are indeed up by 10% since 2012, our share of global TV revenues has fallen and that the entire of the revenue increase can be accounted for by sports rights. As we showed in our 2013 Royal Television Society report, sports rights spending flows straight through the industry into the rights bodies, clubs and players, rather than into new skills, ideas and creative formats. And the worst is yet to come: the new Champions League and Premier League rights deals add more than a billion pounds a year onto the rights budget, so unless revenues increase new funding sources will be required if net spending on new creative content is to remain flat.
Outside investment is one source of such investment, particularly from US studios acquiring UK studios. Our analysis shows that this too is a double-edged sword. It does bring finance and access, but a cost in terms of creative breadth and company formation. Smaller indies live an ever-more precarious existence and with them goes the creative quality and talent that has fuelled our world-class TV economy.
You can find the report here and an excellent summary piece from the Guardian here.