UK sees share of European TV station fall as Brexit fears become real | Broadcast | News | Rapid TV News
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Data from the European Audiovisual Observatory’s MAVISE TV and VOD database has shown that the supply of TV channels in Europe has become more fragmented due to the pre-Brexit migration of a number of stations and the general  diversification of channels.

And not surprisingly, the UK has bene the location most adversely affected by the changes even though the country remains it remains the biggest contributor to the overall supply of TV channels in the EU28.

The Observatory noted that the slide was mainly led by the migration of localised versions but also of standalone TV channels addressing foreign markets, as international TV networks seeking to maintain distribution after Brexit applied for broadcasting licences outside the UK. At the head of this march was the likes of Discovery, Viacom, Sony and the SPI International portfolio brands. This relocation saw the share of channels based in the UK and targeting markets beyond national boarders drop to 57% in 2019, down by 5% year-on-year.

As an indication of what this now means to the UK TV industry, half of the TV channels targeting foreign EU markets were UK-based in 2018, as opposed to just over a third at the end of 2019. The study said that such decentralisation recorded at EU level was the result both of channel migration and a prominent trend towards diversification of the international TV channels in their new host territories. 2019 also saw the launch of additional localised versions of international brand networks represented mainly by Discovery and Viacom portfolios.

As licensees left the UK, the main destination for the relocation and specialisation of broadcasting licences in 2019 was the Netherlands, followed by Spain. This has seen a meant a repositioning of the main hubs for channels targeting other EU countries and a fragmentation of the supply. The top three hubs for international networks, still accounting for a cumulative 69% in 2019 of all TV channels targeting other EU28 were represented by the UK (37%), the Netherlands (22%) and Spain (11%) as opposed to 2018 ranking positions occupied by the UK (52%), the Czech Republic (9%) and Luxembourg (8%) at the end of 2018.

The MAVISE data  also showed that the vast majority (over 95%) of TV channels available in the 41 European countries covered by the European Audiovisual Observatory were still established in Europe with only 8% of them being publicly owned.