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Broadcast and Television Production Strategy Research


The aim of the report was to provide the Broadcast and Television Working Group with an assessment of the broadcast and television production sector in Scotland over 2014/15 and 2015/16, in order to inform the group’s strategy development work.


The methodology consisted of a survey of the broadcast and television production industry in Scotland. From a sample of 41 contacts in the independent production sector, a total of 15 interviews were undertaken. Findings were then compared with those from a previous study carried out by EKOS in 2012. Data was also provided by the three main broadcasters in Scotland – BBC Scotland, STV, and MG Alba.


The report found that between 2009 and 2015, total spend on first run originated Nations and Regions output by BBC/ITV increased by 35% from £50m to £68m in Scotland, which was significantly higher than in Northern Ireland (5%), Wales (-2%) and England (2%). It was found that the overall picture in the broadcast and television production sector in Scotland is much as it was in the previous survey: trading conditions remain tough, budgets are continuing to reduce, and the sector is not showing any real signs of growth. An increase in the number of commissions for Scottish production companies was noted, however it was also found that these were of decreasing value, which suggests producers are being asked to do more for less (a finding that is consistent with Ofcom data also highlighted in the report). The report also found that there is a reliance on primary commissions and that these are likely to remain the mainstay of producer incomes across the UK, not just in Scotland. It was noted that the sector is also increasingly reliant (in an economic sense) on non-Scottish companies, who the report found are, on average, stronger drivers of income and profits in the production sector than Scottish owned companies. The report found that revenues and employment among many companies have reduced, and that, while there is room for growth, Scotland’s production sector is still struggling to generate substantial growth and break into higher value production activity.


The report does not make any specific recommendations.

Author Broadcast and Television Working Group
Published Year 2016
Report Type Research
  • Business infrastructure
    Supporting key sectors