UK broadcasters and streamers have “not been understanding or tried to help with costs” since the recession started biting, according to nearly half of UK producer respondents to a Pact survey, with indies reporting costs rocketing by 10% to 20%.
Around 42% of respondents to the trade body’s Increased Cost Of Living And Cost Of Production Report chided the broadcasters and streamers for failing to provide the necessary help as prices continue to rise.
The BBC was called out as the biggest culprit, with 39% saying the pubcaster had “not been helpful”, followed by Channel 4 (34%) and Paramount-owned Channel 5 (27%). Netflix was below the 20% mark.
In the networks’ defense, 35% said the opposite, that they “had been understanding and tried to help with costs,” while the rest of the respondents were in the middle.
Pact, which represents hundreds of UK indies, provided one of the starkest illustrations yet that the cost of living crisis, which is set to worsen throughout next year, is beginning to bite, and the topic came up repeatedly at last month’s Content London event.
Producers reported costs rising by around 10% to 20%, with the vast majority (86%) saying this has had some impact on margin. Around one-third said their margins had been impacted by 20%. Of those who reported impacted margins, London indies (92%) were ahead of non-London indies (78%).
Pact CEO John McVay said the body will “use this survey going forward to aid our discussions with government and broadcasters.”
“We knew that members were facing higher costs but this survey has helped to show us the extent that the cost of living crisis is impacting production companies across the UK,” he added.
The rising cost of securing on and off-screen talent was cited by many as having a major impact, along with the increased price of labor, materials and services.
Around 40% of respondents said spend on on-screen talent has gone up by 10% over the past year, roughly in line with the figure for those behind the camera.