Television industry in the United Kingdom - statistics & facts
Television remains an essential source of news and entertainment for millions of consumers. This is also true in the United Kingdom, one of the largest and most dynamic TV markets in Europe. Data showed that the number of TV households in the UK has steadily increased since 2017 and that smart TVs have become the device of choice for many viewers. But even though the UK is known for having a vast selection of channels, the country still ranks below other European markets in terms of daily TV consumption. Viewers in the UK have been spending less time watching broadcast television, and this trend only reversed after the onset of the pandemic in 2020.
The UK's television landscape
In 2021, television industry revenues in the UK amounted to nearly 19 billion British pounds, up by roughly two billion compared to 2020. This increase was fueled by the soaring revenues from online television, which are on track to surpass traditional pay TV subscription earnings. Overall, pay TV in the UK is facing trying times as consumers are increasingly cutting the cord and switching from traditional cable or satellite TV subscriptions to online entertainment formats.
Winds of change for the BBC
The BBC remains one of the most popular TV providers in the United Kingdom. The public service broadcaster is primarily funded by license fees, which allow it to circumvent commercials and remain politically impartial. In 2022, the BBC's license fee income amounted to 3.8 billion British pounds but based on the government's decision to abolish the fee by 2027, the BBC and its programming are facing an uncertain future. And even though the controversial decision received some public backlash, it was backed by a recent survey which indicated that consumers would prefer to watch ads instead of paying the current annual fee. Overall spending on TV advertising in the UK reached a record 5.46 billion British pounds in 2021 after declining for many years. Whether this upward trend can continue will strongly depend on the advances in online streaming.
Rise of online video
The recent influx of video-on-demand (VOD) services to the UK's media landscape has altered consumer behavior and viewing preferences. Considering that these platforms allow viewers to access TV programs and movies around the clock instead of binding them to fixed broadcasting schedules, it is no surprise that the number of SVOD households in the UK has steadily increased over the last few years. This demand for non-linear content has also enticed many of the region’s top TV companies to offer their services online and on demand. As of 2021, BBC iPlayer had the highest audience reach among the UK’s broadcaster video-on-demand (BVOD) services, followed by ITV Hub and All 4.
This text provides general information. Statista assumes no
liability for the information given being complete or correct.
Due to varying update cycles, statistics can display more up-to-date
data than referenced in the text.