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Television investment overtakes film in 2020


Spend on UK film and television production fell by 21% as a result of Covid-19 and the suspension in filming activities.

The new figures from the BFI show that in total £2.84bn was invested in film and high end television (HETV) production.

Film accounts for £1.36bn (down 31% on 2019), while HETV spend was £1.49bn (11% down on 2019). That’s the first time that television investment has exceeded that of film, this has been led by Amazon and Netflix.

The figures from the BFI Research and Statistics Unit show that the final quarter of the year recorded a £1.19bn investment, which is the second highest spend to date over a 3-month period.

“After an unbelievably tough year, today’s figures show an incredibly vibrant and positive picture for film and TV in the UK. Last spring it was hard to imagine that we would be generating £1 billion worth of production activity in the final quarter which has been achieved by industry and government pulling together and the determination of our workforce to get back up and running,” said Ben Roberts, BFI Chief Executive.

“This sector is primed to grow with expansion underway in studios and production hot spots across the UK, delivering more jobs and more to the economy. It’s been a challenging year for cinemas but we remain optimistic for the day when we can welcome back audiences and it’s brilliant to see some of the UK’s greatest talent making big pictures such as 1917 which topped the box office before the pandemic hit.”

In spite of the pandemic a number of major productions still took place in the North during 2020:

North East – Vera

North West – The Batman, Brassic, Cobra, The Fantastic Flitcrofts, Milo, Munich ’38, Ridley Road, Time, Viewpoint

Yorkshire – Ackley Bridge, Brassic, The Duke, Gentleman Jack, The Great (series2), Serena’s Game, The Syndicate


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