Making sense of UK TV’s global appeal

Ever felt curious to know how the rest of the world responded to TV shows from the UK that gave you many a sleepless night? Betway did, and the result that their research yielded is something you must come to terms with.

The Figures

Owing to the exemplary nature of its TV industry, be it with respect to novel formats or timeless shows, the exports of the industry amounted to an overwhelming $1.97 billion in 2020 alone. This is because studios all over the world had a piece of the pie that came in the form of the UK’s widely acclaimed shows, whether it’s Planet Earth or Love Island. As per the research carried out by online casino Betway, completed shows like Doctor Who, Downton Abbey and Planet Earth poured in a staggering 70% of the total export sales just mentioned the previous year. And when it came to international reformulation of shows like Love Island, Come Dine with Me, the figure came to $223 million, 11% of the total.

The Destinations

The US tops the chart of lucrative export markets for the UK’s TV industry. In 2020 alone, it generated revenue of $ 466 million. Australia and Canada steal the limelight next because of the resilience of their local markets and of shared cultural ties. Outside of the Anglophone world, France gets to be the major market accumulating £102 million, followed by Nordic countries with £77 million in revenue. Interestingly, the Latin American and various Asian markets also become extra friendly with an accelerated export of 13% and 15% respectively.

The Seducers

Among the scripted shows category, shows like The Office, Chernobyl, and Doctor Who witnessed international adaptation and resultant success. But fate had something different in store for adulated shows like Skins, Broadchurch as their US counterparts fell short.

Reality Dating shows, talent competitions which emulate the unscripted format also rose to the occasion as shows like Who Wants to be a Millionaire?, Love Island, Got Talent became the talking points on the international landscape.

The Chartbusters

Among shows that attract the most money are the non-fiction ones. The Great British Bake Off, for example, received licenses from 26 international markets. BBC’s Top Gear, in the same vein, became the greatest cash grabber. Alternatively, scripted shows like The Office, or unscripted ones like Dancing with the Stars can safely be called the most viewed UK offerings. Whereas British reality talent shows or period dramas boast of having the widest reach,  shows like The Office, or Who Wants to be a Millionaire? belittled their original UK versions in fame.

The Way Ahead

Prophecy has it that the UK’s media and entertainment revenue will take a leap from £71.3 billion in 2021 to £87.9 billion in 2025. It is also likely that SVOD service will also keep growing and touch 1.495 billion by the next five years, positively influencing the UK industry as on-demand platforms already share 38% of all global sales. Although the Brexit debacle can dismantle these speculations as the EU is allegedly pushing for more diversification of the market already, the UK can nonetheless take this opportunity to open up fresh pathways to non-EU export markets and hold fast to its supremacy.