U.K. TV exports jumped 20% to $1.2 bil in 2006


LONDON -- Sales of U.K. television programs and formats jumped 20% to £593 million ($1.2 billion) in 2006, driven by the sale of formats such as "Dancing on Ice" and finished programs like "Doctor Who," according to research published Wednesday.

Format sales were up 87% to £56 million ($110.8 million) compared with 2005 while finished program sales grew 21% to £294 million ($581.5 million). Co-production revenue was up 7% at £51 million ($101 million). Revenue from DVD and video sales jumped 13% to £63 million ($124.6 million), according to figures from independent producers' body Pact that were collated by the Department of Culture Media and Sport.

The North American market continues to be the most lucrative international market for British fare, accounting for 41% of the 2006 tally and growing 30% year-to-year. In the same period, sales in Eastern Europe grew 54% and sales to Scandinavia grew 42%.

Creative industries minister Shaun Woodward hailed the figures as evidence of Britain's creative strengths. "The inventiveness and quality of British television makers continues to shine through and is recognized across the world," he said.

Pact chief executive John McVay added that the global appetite for U.K. programming "continues to grow."