Chernobyl and The Feed among dramas boosting UK television exports to Europe | Television industry
For British television and cinema, Europe is the second largest market after the United States – with Chernobyl, His Dark Materials and The Feed among recent popular British shows on the continent.
Chernobyl, the Emmy Award-winning historical drama, was a Sky Studios production purchased by OCS City for French audiences, Sky Atlantic for Germans and Italians, and HBO for Poles, Spaniards and Swedes.
The Feed, a 10-episode sci-fi drama based on Nick Clark Windo’s book of the same name on Futuristic Brain Implants Gone Wrong, has been picked up by the StarzPlay Network for the French, Germans, Italians and the Spaniards.
Other must-see British TV shows in Europe include BBC Studios’ productions His Dark Materials, based on the novel series of the same name by Philip Pullman, and Dracula, the drama-horror mini-series produced by Mark Gatiss and Steven Moffat.
Scripted dramas accounted for 48% of all revenue from the total £ 1.48bn from the sale of UK television rights internationally between April 2019 and March 2020, up 6% year on year. Total exports to Europe increased 4% year-on-year to reach £ 490million in 2019/20.
When it comes to factual programming, The Great British Bake Off is the main source of income, finding audiences across Europe.
French version, The best pastry chef, or “The Best Baker,” aired at 9 p.m. on a Wednesday night with an average audience last year of 3 million people per episode. This year, a 10th series will be broadcast in Sweden (TV4) and Denmark (DR). The finale of the last season of Den Store Bagedyst, “The Great Baking Contest” in Denmark received 71.8% TV audience share.
The most avid Europeans for British content are to be found in France (£ 102m in sales), the Nordic countries (£ 77m), Germany (£ 75m), Italy (£ 40m), pounds sterling), the Netherlands (19 million pounds sterling), Spain (18 million pounds sterling), Belgium (15 million pounds sterling) and Poland (11 million pounds sterling).
Video on demand platforms such as Netflix and Amazon are the biggest buyers, accounting for 38% of all international UK content sales in 2019/2020, followed by free TV (32%) and pay TV (29%). But the UK also has a rich archive of material that is beloved in Europe, such as Monty Python, Midsomer Murders, MasterChef, Mr Bean, The Crown and Downton Abbey.