Entertainment & Arts

The Musketeers and Mr Selfridge drive UK TV exports

Tom Burke, Santiago Cabrera and Howard Charles in The Musketeers
Image caption A second series of The Musketeers has been commissioned

The Musketeers and Mr Selfridge have helped drive a 5% rise in British TV exports, a new report has revealed.

The findings by Pact, which represents independent television producers, have shown international sales in 2013/14 of £1.28 billion, up from £1.22bn in 2012.

The biggest increase in demand for British TV has come from China, which has seen its worth increase by 40% to a total income of £17 million.

The US is still the biggest market for UK programmes, up 10% to £523m.

Pact's John McVay said the UK Television Exports Report showed UK television productions "remain amongst the most highly regarded and sought after globally" and were "the envy of the world".

High-end dramas like the BBC's Atlantis and The Musketeers and ITV's Mr Selfridge helped ensure exports of finished television programming remained the UK's largest source of revenue, worth £644m.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mr Selfridge stars US actor Jeremy Piven

The report goes on to state that sales of digital rights to subscription services saw the biggest percentage increase - a 72% rise from £29m to £49m.

"We're not always the best at celebrating our successes in this country," said BBC Worldwide's Paul Dempsey.

"This survey is a timely reminder that viewers in Shanghai or Seattle are just as likely to be talking about great British shows... as commentators here are to be talking about the latest US TV blockbuster."

Sales to Australasia saw a fall of 10% to £95m, though the territory remained the UK's second biggest export market.

The biggest drop in TV exports was to Spain, a drop from £19m to £16m representing a decline of 17%.

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