COBA warns that broadcasting firms in the UK could have to move to operations overseas

The body for international broadcasters in the UK warned that media firms could have to move operations overseas in the event of a “hard” Brexit – a scenario in which the UK leaves the European Union without a formal trade agreement.

Given Britain’s number of skilled employees and English being the dominant language in the industry the country has dominated the European broadcasting sector.

Speaking at the Media Summits BREXIT BRIEFING launch event in London, Adam Minns, the executive director of the Commercial Broadcasters Association (COBA), said that a quarter of jobs in Britain’s broadcasting sector work with an international channel.

International broadcasters based in the UK would have to restructure their EU operations if a hard Brexit occurs.

COBA was quoted by the BBC as saying:

“No [trade] deal would jeopardise the UK’s status as Europe’s leading international broadcasting hub,”

“International broadcasters based here would, reluctantly, be forced to restructure their European operations. No deal would put at risk thousands of jobs in the UK broadcasting sector, hundreds of millions of pounds of investment every year, and would undermine the sector’s long-term global competitiveness.

“Like many sectors, broadcasters cannot wait until the cliff edge of March 2019 to make decisions about the future of their European businesses.”

The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport responded:

“The UK is currently the EU’s biggest broadcasting hub and the sector makes an important contribution to our thriving creative industries. During our negotiations with the EU we will work to get the right deal for broadcasters and will support their continued growth in the UK.”