Losing access to EU markets could jeopardise up to £1 billion in annual investment from international broadcasters, according to a new report from the Commercial Broadcasters Association (CoBA).
The report says international broadcasters invested a record £1.02 billion in the UK in 2017, up more than 50 per cent when compared to 2011 – but warns investment is at risk unless the Government secures access to EU markets once the UK leaves the EU.
The money was invested in areas such as content investment, production facilities, wage costs, overheads and technology – making a major contribution to the critical mass and global competitiveness of the UK television sector.
CoBA warns if the UK leaves the EU without a deal in place, international broadcasters will be forced to restructure their European operations in order to qualify for a broadcast licence from a country within the EU.
“The UK is Europe’s number one broadcasting hub for good reason and no one wants to restructure their business," said CoBA executive director, Adam Minns. "But if a UK broadcasting licence is no longer recognised by the EU, international channels will have no choice. This report shows the immense value they have for the UK, and the huge potential for future growth – if we can get this right.
“We also call on both the UK and the EU to provide clarity on transitional arrangements quickly, to provide security for businesses and their employees in both the UK and the EU. Broadcasters cannot wait until the cliff edge in March 2019 before making these decisions, they need to plan any restructuring well in advance.”