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Report: Number of TV channels based in the UK halves post-Brexit

A third of channels leaving the UK migrated to the Netherlands and Spain

The UK remains the most prominent TV market in Europe, despite the overall number of channels based in the country halving between 2018-2020, according to a new report.

The European Audiovisual Observatory’s annual Audiovisual Media Services in Europe report found that in 2020, 13,638 audiovisual media services were available in Europe. This included 10,839 TV channels, 4,803 (44 per cent) of which were local TV services. The total figure also includes 2,799 on-demand services, 1,179 (42 per cent) of which were pay on-demand services.

The UK, with 586 TV channels, remains the most prominent television market in Europe albeit with a small margin over the Russian Federation (524 TV channels) and the Netherlands (515 TV channels). Together, these three audiovisual markets account for over 28 per cent of the total share of TV channels (excluding local) originating from Europe.

The leading European supplier of pay on-demand services was Ireland, with 188 services, leaving second and third place to France (141 services) and the UK (140 services).

The report found among the main hubs for TV channels serving other markets, the UK was the country most heavily affected by a migration of TV channels post-Brexit. Whilst the overall number of TV channels based in the country more than halved between 2018 and 2020, the number of channels aimed at non-domestic markets dropped by a similar share (around 44 per cent), suggesting that the migration of TV channels largely focused on these services.

The biggest winners in the migration of TV channels were the Netherlands, which saw its number more than double, and Spain, where TV channels rose by 38 per cent from 2018 to 2020. A third of all TV channels migrating from the UK between 2018 and 2020 went to the Netherlands (18 per cent) and Spain (14 per cent).

The full report is available to read here.