The Crown season four

Source: Netflix

‘The Crown’

Netflix is on course to spend $1bn (£744.1m) on UK content this year, doubling its outlay from 2019.

The growth has been driven by high-profile scripted shows such as The Witcher, Sex Education and the recently-launched fourth season of The Crown.

For context, the annual content budget of the UK’s public broadcast channel BBC1 just tops £1bn ($1.33bn) while Channel 4’s originals investment is around the £500m ($666m) mark.

Netflix chief executive Reed Hastings revealed at last year’s RTS Cambridge Convention the company had invested around $500m on UK content for that year.

Netflix has repeatedly spoken of the UK’s importance as part of its original content offering, with the streamer commissioning more than 50 TV series and films last year.

The SVoD giant also welcomed the opening of its UK production hub at Shepperton Studios, taking over the facility’s 14 sound stages and signing a long-term lease for what is understood to be around 10 years.

“The UK is an incredibly important market to Netflix and we’re proud to be increasing our investment in the UK’s creative industries,” a spokesman told Screen’s sister publication, Broadcast.

The Crown, Sex Education and The Witcher are among the shows that have been made in the UK this year and will be watched by the world. And these shows are a testament to the depth of talent that exists here.

“We will continue to invest in the best content in every genre, and are fully committed to supporting British production and creative talent for many years to come.”

This story first appeared on Screen’s sister site Broadcast.