Brexit bad for TV, film industry in UK.

Experts describe the vote to leave the EU as a disaster for UK industry, from financing, distributing, quotas, permits and more.


They may still be part of Eurovision and it may not impact Game of Thrones, but one more thing is certain after the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union …..uncertainty.

According to a pre-vote survey conducted by Media Business Insight (MBI), 59% of UK producers, broadcasters and distributors said Brexit would be bad for their business.  85% of its members said they would vote to remain in the EU.

Michael Ryan, the chairman of the Independent Film and Television Alliance (IFTA), the global trade association representing the companies behind independent film and TV, has since described the Brexit vote as “likely to be devastating” for the creative sector.

“The decision to exit the European Union is a major blow to the UK film and TV industry,” he said in a statement. “Producing films and television programs is a very expensive and very risky business and certainty about the rules affecting the business is a must.

“This decision has just blown up our foundation,” Ryan added. “As of today, we no longer know how our relationships with co-producers, financiers and distributors will work, whether new taxes will be dropped on our activities in the rest of Europe, or how production financing is going to be raised without any input from European funding agencies.”

With British TV shows and formats to European broadcasters worth around £376m a year ($A690m), many were worried this would drop if the country voted to break ties with Brussels.

Sky Atlantic drama The Last Panthers received £770,000 ($A1.41m) in funding from the EU’s Media Desk. Other’s who have benefitted include BBC4’s Hinterland, BBC1’s Shaun The Sheep and BBC2 documentary Inside Obama’s White House.

US producer Harvey Weinstein said, “I think there will be discrimination now against some of the product and what it means to be European product. A lot of TV stations in Europe are under quotas. When you do War And Peace, that was accepted as European. It could be very costly in the movie and TV industry in terms of content branding. European branding is very important. It’s a big deal for these young British filmmakers.”

BBC-AMC spy thriller The Night Manager is one title that qualified as an EU shows. If fewer are picked up by European TV networks, it could drive down the price paid for them.

British staff going to work in EU countries may now become more difficult, while the movement of goods such as cameras, costumes, vehicles may now require customs permits.

The falling value of the pound will make it cheaper for Hollywood and European productions to shoot in the UK, but it’s bad news for UK distributors.

But those worrisome headlines speculating an impact on Game of Thrones, based in Northern Ireland, are off the mark.

HBO has not taken money from the Fund for the last few seasons . The network released this statement: “We do not anticipate that the result of the EU Referendum will have any material effect on HBO producing Game of Thrones.

Source: Variety, Radio Times, EW

3 Responses

  1. Every time something happens in the world of politics…anywhere…people…especially politicians start running around like Chicken Little yelling …The sky is falling….In all my years…it never has…life just goes on as normal…and is all forgotten when the next news cycle starts…
    Think Greece…the world as we knew it was going to end…now you rarely hear anyone mention it all….

  2. I enjoyed The Last Panthers but loved The Night Manager. Would be very happy to watch more of either so hopefully they or things like them will continue to be made.

    I may be naive but I don’t think that this is going to have a significant impact on international co-productions. If a co-pro looks like a suitable project, surely national funding bodies will still contribute some of the money as they do now, and as they did before the UK joined the EU? If import taxes on equipment is an issue, they can use UK gear when filming in the UK and European when on the continent.

    If it’s really bad, at least we’ll have the next season of The Tunnel sorted – The Death of Television. Just need to find someone to make it.

  3. Potentially a good thing for Australian exports given UK content won’t qualify as EU content for EU broadcasters reaching quota.

    Puts Australia on a more level playing field against the other english language producing territories.

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