- Broadcasters fear losing their ability to transmit their channels across the EU from the UK under ‘country of origin’ rules
- There is concern the UK will lose its status as Europe’s premier broadcasting hub
- The Commercial Broadcasters Association says firms need clarity on Brexit
More than 6,000 British broadcasting jobs are at risk from Brexit, according to a secret industry analysis seen by The Mail on Sunday.
The threat comes because broadcasters fear losing their ability to transmit their channels across the EU from the UK under ‘country of origin’ rules.
Industry regulator Ofcom currently licenses about 1,100 channels – 650 of which broadcast to EU nations.
Threat: Sky, which makes The Affair starring Ruth Wilson (pictured), could be affected
The Commercial Broadcasters Association (Coba) analysis, which has been shown to Government Ministers, warns that the UK is in danger of losing its status as Europe’s premier broadcasting hub as a result.
Coba also warns that its members may have to start shifting resources to mainland Europe in the coming weeks.
After Brexit, unless a deal for the industry is struck, channels that broadcast from the UK into the EU would need to establish significant operations in a member country.
According to Coba’s risk assessment, a worst-case scenario would see the ‘vast majority’ of jobs lost in this type of broadcasting – a total of just over 6,000.
Coba members include Discovery, Sony Pictures and Sky – which produces popular drama The Affair – but other broadcasters, such as the BBC and ITV, could also be affected.
Lib Dem peer Lord Foster, who has been briefed by numerous broadcasters, told the House of Lords that a number of TV channels ‘have already chosen to move from this country and base themselves in other European countries’.
Adam Minns, executive director of Coba, said broadcasters urgently need clarity on Brexit – starting with assurance that there will be a transition period from next March – or restructuring may have to begin within weeks.
Prime Minister Theresa May acknowledged these concerns in her Mansion House speech on Brexit in March.