Loss of access to EU markets could jeopardise £1 billion in annual investment from international broadcasters, according to a report published by the organisation representing Britain’s multichannel broadcasters.
The Oliver & Ohlbaum Associates commissioned by COBA shows international broadcasters invested a record £1.02 billion in the UK last year, a figure that has increased by 50 per cent since 2011.
COBA says this demonstrates the importance of the UK’s status as Europe’s leading international broadcasting hub and the strong potential for growth in jobs. It’s feared that once the UK leaves the EU, in the absence of alternative arrangements, 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. 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,” said Adam Minns, COBA’s Executive Director.
“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.”
The UK is Europe’s leading international broadcasting hub, home to 761 Ofcom-licensed channels and content services that broadcast from here to overseas audiences (predominantly to the EU).