The UK Broadcast Awards at London’s Grosvenor House Ballroom is an annual “black-tie affair” and always eagerly anticipated by broadcasters, production companies and commercial partners alike. I was lucky enough to attend. Not only do we all like a good night out from time to time (especially after a long January), but the awards are generally recognised across the industry as the reference point for peer recognition.

Amidst the usual bonhomie and champagne-fuelled conversation, I tried to assess the feel as to the state of our UK industry in these changing times: “Brexit”, the continuing rise of the digital giants, a challenging advertising market, regulatory uncertainty and many other factors have all contributed to an often-gloomy perspective across the industry. Surely there is also room for optimism as to the future of the UK television industry?

Well, if the throwaway quote that “Content is King” is true, we can most certainly be confident of the UK’s continuing place at the top table of the global television industry. Amongst the long list of award-winning shows there was an amazing cross section of content which genuinely reflected the creative brilliance, commercial foresight and unique way our industry is organised.

On my way home (before the strike of midnight, of course) I considered how can we, Red Bee Media, help our customers and their commercial partners to maximise the value of this hard-earned position as a creative powerhouse? It struck me that as an industry we need to work harder than ever to grow our position as one of the largest net exporters of content.

Economic conditions may not be great, but a relatively weak UK currency can help to make us even more attractive on the world stage as a content and service provider. If content can be formatted, packaged, localised and distributed in a high quality, timely and cost-effective manner, then UK content owners and distributors are well placed to generate essential incremental revenue and profits from overseas markets, be that through programme sales, digital services and linear television channels.  We need to ensure that our customers are well placed to capture all the commercial opportunities they can and respond to the needs of a fluid international market.

At Red Bee Media, we take great pride in our ability to offer all the services content owners need to meet the requirements of audiences and customers in overseas markets. Our connected network of global operations is built and operated with these requirements in mind. Our passionate “TV people” provide 24-hour operations to support the needs of our customers in markets ranging from the UK to Australia, and everywhere in between. We continue to work with amazing customers who are looking to maximise the reach and value of their content across the world.

I came away from the event never prouder to be a small part of an industry that can deliver stunning, mass global-audience winners and at the same time produce inspiring, thought provoking documentaries that address many of the fundamental issues we are facing. Every year I feel the same.  In these uncertain times, isn’t it good that at least some things don’t change?

Neil Meadows, Head of Sales, UK and Ireland

Many congratulations to all the winners from all of us at Red Bee Media:

  • Best Children’s Programme: Horrible Histories, Lion Television for CBBC
  • Best Comedy Programme: Catastrophe, Avalon Television, Merman Films and Birdbath Productions for Channel 4
  • Best Daytime Programme : Extreme Cakemakers, Boomerang for Channel 4
  • Best Documentary Programme: Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad, Only the Best Productions for BBC One
  • Best Documentary Series: Planet Earth II, BBC Studios Natural History Unit, BBC America, ZDF, Tencent and France Télévisions for BBC One
  • Best Drama Series or Serial: Three Girls, BBC Studios and Studio Lambert for BBC One
  • Best Entertainment Programme: Taskmaster, Avalon for Dave
  • Best Multichannel Programme: Love Island, ITV Studios and Motion Content Group for ITV2
  • Best Music Programme: Four To The Floor, Lemonade Money for Channel 4
  • Best News & Current Affairs Programme: The Death of Jo Cox Amos Pictures for BBC Two
  • Best Original Programme: Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds, CPL Productions for Channel 4
  • Best Popular Factual Programme: Who Do You Think You Are? Danny Dyer, Wall to Wall for BBC One
  • Best Pre-School Programme: Apple Tree House, Five Apples for CBeebies
  • Best Single Drama: Black Mirror: San Junipero, House of Tomorrow for Netflix
  • Best Soap / Continuing Drama: Hollyoaks, Lime Pictures for Channel 4
  • Best Sports Programme: Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko, Sky Sports for Sky Sports Box Office
  • International Programme Sales: This Time Next Year, Twofour Rights for Twofour
  • Best Post Production House: Films at 59
  • Best Independent Production Company: Left Bank Pictures
  • Channel of the Year: BBC One
  • TV Moment of the Year Award: BBC World News Professor Robert Kelly’s live interview is gate-crashed by his kids, BBC News for BBC World News
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