Broadcast News

The UK becomes a key source of TV programming, as revenues there increase 20 percent. It seems like just yesterday that we were shaking off New Year's hangovers and venturing to the many trade shows that define the star

April 6, 2018

Broadcast News

The UK becomes a key source of TV programming, as revenues there increase 20 percent.

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It seems like just yesterday that we were shaking off New Year's hangovers and venturing to the many trade shows that define the start of the year. Suddenly we're moving toward summer and the trade shows are coming thick and fast again: MIPTV, Bologna Book Fair, London Book Fair.... Before you know it, Licensing International will be upon us. While products rather than properties categorize the early trade shows, latter ones are more content-focused, giving a glimpse into future licensable properties.

Despite problems associated with broadcast at the moment, which, regardless of talk about 'emerging platforms,' is still key, the UK is reportedly doing a brisk trade in exporting programming. According to Pact, revenue from TV shows exported from the UK increased 20 percent last year. The total revenue from program sales and their ancillary activities was 550 million pounds (US $1.1 billion) in 2006. Apparently, Eastern Europe and Scandinavia are particularly keen on UK content.

Recent broadcast

deals in Europe include France's TF1 picking up licensing and broadcast rights to Aardman's Shaun the Sheep; Five in the UK will air Chorion's new "Mr. Men" series in its Milkshake slot; 4 Kids'

Viva Piñata

has gone to Italy, Denmark, and Finland; and Spain's Icon Animation has sold "Lola & Virginia" to Ireland, Norway, and Romania. In addition, fans of The Magic Roundabout might be pleased to learn that Nickelodeon has picked up the rights to remake the classic, slightly surreal kids' property.

On the retail side of the fence, earlier this month frantic shoppers literally clambered over each other to bag themselves a bargain during the opening of Primark's flagship store on London's Oxford Street. This undignified display is indicative of the consumer demand for low-priced products that is so worrying for the licensing industry. Undignified it may have been, but try persuading the shopper who's bagged some trendy jeans for under 10 pounds to spend more on brands.

The owner of a licensing agency who recently returned from a trip to Istanbul highlighted another retail issue to me. While there he visited a shopping mall and found stores like Marks & Spencer, River Island, H & M, Etam, and Mothercare among other European names: further proof of an increasingly globalized retail network, which makes getting deals with a small group of key retailers even more important— one of the challenges facing the industry.

And finally, the winner of the interesting license of the month award goes to: Kama Sutra. Corporate Creative Licensing has been appointed by Virgin Comics to represent images from the book

Kama Sutra: The Seven Spiritual Laws of Love

. CCL will be responsible for the whole licensing campaign, brand management, and style guide.

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