U.K. indie TV revenues top $4 bil in 2007

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LONDON -- Revenues from independent TV producers have topped 2.14 billion pounds ($4.15 billion) in the 12 months since the beginning of 2007, growing by 9.4% a year, trade body Pact said Wednesday.

The annual Pact census said that all but 242 million pounds ($460.6 million) of revenues came from the television sector, and that the uplift had been driven by increased commissions from broadcasters, which increased spending by over 156 million pounds ($302.9 million) during the 2007 census period.

New media revenues dipped slightly to 39 million pounds ($75.7 million) from 42 million pounds ($81.5 million) last year, while multichannel revenues were up to 240 million pounds ($466 million). International program and format sales totaled 310 million pounds ($601. 9 million) over the period, with the U.S. accounting for 84% of all international revenues.

Pact chief executive John McVay said the figures illustrated the strength of the U.K. production sector.

"We are very pleased with this year's report ... with the combined data from the last three years, we are now in an even better position to provide evidence of the viability of the industry as it goes from strength to strength."

KPMG media partner David Elms, who worked with Pact on the research, said that consolidation in the sector had driven revenues, but warned that the current banking and financing climate could impact the sector in the year ahead.

"The number of completed transactions in the sector [in 2007] speak for themselves as numerous independent producers were bought out by larger, better funded corporate acquirers in the drive for scale," Elms commented.

"The current volatility in global capital markets is likely to impact mergers and acquisitions activity in the sector, but the longer term logic for continued consolidation remains," he concluded.
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