Feature films were worth an estimated £1.6bn ($2.7bn) to UK broadcasters in 2013, according to new research by the British Film Institute.

Pixar's Up

While the total number of film transmissions (59,542) and total audience size (3.4 billion) dropped to five-year lows across terrestrial, pay-TV film channels and other digital multichannels, the estimated value of film increased year-on-year by £66m ($112m).

The estimate is based on a model developed by data research company Attentional and is derived from the annual revenue per channel multiplied by the percentage of broadcast hours for film.

According to the new research, published in the BFI’s statistical yearbook, there were 3.4 billions viewings of feature films across all television formats (except pay-per-view) in 2013 – more than 20 times the number of cinema admissions.

This represents approximately 53 film viewings per person per year, down from 61 in 2012.

The most popular film on terrestrial TV in 2013 was Disney/Pixar’s Up, with almost 7.9 million viewers tuning in to watch on New Year’s Day on BBC1.

Top 10 films on UK terrestial TV, 2013

TitleChannelAudience (m)
1 UpBBC17.9
2 Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesBBC15.9
3 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceITV5.6
4 Harry Potter and the Order of the PhoenixITV5.3
5 Harry Potter and the Goblet of FireITV5.2
6 Harry Potter and the Half-Blood PrinceITV5.2
7 Nanny McPhee and the Big BangITV5.0
8 Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal SkullBBC15.0
9 Finding NemoBBC15.0
10 Quantum of SolaceITV4.7

Source: BFI Statistical Yearbook

High end TV spend

The BFI, the UK’s lead film body, is also responsible for certifying high-end TV productions and its yearbook details the spend and volume of those productions in the UK.

Total UK spend on high-end TV produced in the UK last year (Apr 2013 – Mar 2014) was £395m ($670m) across 43 projects.

Of this 57% (£225m/$380m) was attributed to the 13 inward investment productions, including Game of Thrones and 24: Live Another Day.

The UK spend of domestic productions and co-productions was worth £170m ($290m) (43%) covering 30 projects including Atlantis, Critical and Call the Midwife.

A total of 25 qualifying animation projects spent £52m ($90m), with only 15% of the total spend attributed to inward investment.

The median budget for high end TV programmes with final certification was £2.3m ($3.9m).

The tax credit for high end TV came into effect in April 2013.