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India's UK TV content imports rise to Rs 125 crore in 2015-2016

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MUMBAI: India is the second fastest growing market for the UK content. That’s the findings of the latest TV export report for 2015-2016 released by the Producers Alliance for Cinema & Television (PACT). The report states that imports of British content by Indian broadcasters grew a handsome 43 per cent in the year to pounds sterling 15 million (Rs 125 crore) as against pounds sterling 10 million last year.

The highest growth came from Japan which imported 48 per cent more of UK content at 15 million pounds in 2015-2016, whereas China saw a 40 per cent rise in the same period to 23 million pounds (16 million in the corresponding period). South Korea registered a growth of 39 per cent to 8.1 million pounds (5.8 million pounds).

The US continued to occupy its premier position of the leader by shipping in 16 per cent more British content to account for 497 million pounds of the UK TV sector’s revenue. Next in line was the Australia and New Zealand market with content imports of 131 million pounds. France with imports of 73 million pounds and a growth of five per cent came next In line.

Overall, the UK TV content export sector grew by 10 per cent to 1.33 million pounds in 2015-2016 as against pounds 1.21 billion pounds in 2014-2015, when sales fell by 0.6 per cent.

Exports of finished TV programmes were flat at pounds 668 million whereas digital sales seem to be exploding. The growth to these outlets was a hurricane like 79 per cent to £248 million. Digital sales accounted for almost 19 per cent of the total British TV content sales.

North America accounted for 41 per cent of revenue that UK’s content makers make selling their programmes to the world, while Europe contributed 31 per cent and the rest of the world 29 per cent.

Shows such as Deutschland 83 and The Returned have gone global while the ever so popular Sherlock and Dr Who have travelled beyond 200 countries

One wonders whether India’s TV content creating community will start looking at programme syndication deals as a good source of revenue, especially in times when subscription revenue is not budging too much northwards. India is estimated to be distributing between Rs 350 crore to Rs 400 crore of its content annually. Which is much lower than Turkish drama exports which notched up some $320 million exports and is targeting $1 billion in exports of its TV content by 2020 and $2 billion by 2023.

Clearly, India has a lot headroom to grow.

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