The small screen is worth £17.5 billion to the UK economy


New research from Deloitte found that the television industry generated £17.5 billion in revenues in 2012**, which is just over 1% of UK GDP. Indirect sales, such as books and music revenues driven directly by TV, added £500 million to TV’s direct economic impact.

•The television industry* generated £17.5 billion in revenues in 2012*
•Contributing 1% of GDP, we dedicate an astonishing 25% of our waking time to entertainment and information on TV
•It gained £500 million from indirect sales, such as books and music revenues driven directly by TV
•Subscription Video on Demand (SVOD) revenues to reach about £160 million in 2013, a 167% increase from 2012

The report, What television is: 2013, examines trends in TV and was commissioned by The Royal Television Society for the biennial RTS Cambridge Convention.***

Ed Shedd, head of Deloitte’s UK technology, media and telecoms practice said: “TV’s role in society is built on solid foundations. The UK devotes about a quarter of all waking time, on average four hours, watching the small screen and total spend on television for services and equipment is only about 1% of GDP. Its share of GDP declined just 0.05% from 2007 to 2012, from 1.18% to 1.14%.”

Pay TV
The growth in pay TV has slowed considerably and in 2012, year on year growth for all forms of pay TV was 1.6%. This is significantly less than the overall pay TV growth of 8.5% between 2010 and 2011.

Paul Lee, director of technology, media, and telecommunications research at Deloitte said: “Pay TV’s revenue can still increase in the medium term; the UK’s demand for television products and services has not yet been fully satisfied and there are still aspects of the television market that are under-served. For example, pay TV can cover sports in depth, to complement the highlights shown on the public service broadcaster channels. 

“Pay TV can also be driven by premium content stacking; we expect consumers to source their favourite programmes from multiple pay TV providers, not just one at the exclusion of all others.”

Subscription video-on-demand
Deloitte’s research found that half of the respondents used SVOD services, such as Netflix and Lovefilm, in addition to existing pay TV subscriptions. SVOD revenues are expected to reach £160 million in 2013, a 167% increase from 2012, with some households substituting spend on the purchase of rental of physical DVDs to downloading films and TV programmes on SVOD services.

Other key findings
•Pay television gained the most market share and enjoyed the highest increase in revenues between 2007 and 2012. Subscriptions represented 24 per cent of all revenue in 2007 and 31 per cent in 2012. The fastest growing component of pay TV between 2011 and 2012 were subscription funded digital platforms, which grew 148 per cent, but from a very low base of £25 million.
•The spend on new British programming grew in 2012, from about £2.8 billion in 2011 to over £3.1 billion.

* This includes advertising, subscriptions, advertising, licence and subsidy, equipment, and products.
 ** This is down half a billion pounds from 2011 and up £700 million from 2007. If you exclude the value of television-related consumer equipment, revenues increased by £2.3 billion between 2007 and 2012. Deloitte’s analysis of revenue flows focuses on 2007, 2011, and 2012, to provide medium-term and near-term comparisons.
 *** The 2013 convention is chaired by David Abraham, CEO of Channel 4.


About Royal Television Society
The Royal Television Society is Britain’s leading forum for television and related media. Membership is open to everyone with an interest in the medium.

The RTS was granted its Royal title in 1966 and HRH The Prince of Wales became Patron of the Society in 1997.

The RTS brings together people to exchange ideas, debate and explore key issues. The RTS Awards are an internationally recognised hallmark for quality and originality.

For over 80 years, the RTS has provided the UK’s main platform for debate about the future of television. Its lectures, events and publications make a substantial contribution to raising standards and developing practice. The RTS organises dinners with influential speakers, lectures, monthly sessions on current issues, and the world famous biennial Cambridge Convention sets the agenda for the future.

Television, the leading UK monthly on television issues and broadcasting policy, is distributed free to members. Separate RTS Awards events cover Programme Making, Television Journalism, Craft and Design, Students and Innovation.

About Deloitte
 In this press release references to Deloitte are references to Deloitte LLP, which is among the country's leading professional services firms.

Deloitte LLP is the United Kingdom member firm of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited (“DTTL”), a UK private company limited by guarantee, whose member firms are legally separate and independent entities. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of DTTL and its member firms.

The information contained in this press release is correct at the time of going to press.

Member of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited.


The Deloitte Cambridge office comprises 8 Partners and over 250 staff who deliver a full range of professional services to the East Anglian region. As well as focussing on the life sciences and technology sectors for which the region has become so renowned, the office has long standing specialisms in other sectors including the professions, consumer business, food and agribusiness.

Deloitte LLP