29 JUL 2020

UK PLEDGES $650 MILLION COVID INSURANCE FUND FOR FILM, TV, PRODUCTION

The film and production proposal will cover the entire UK region. Though the financial terms weren't disclosed, the company will "share new revenue streams." The decision allowed an estimated £1 billion worth of production to restart in the region.

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The UK government released a new £500m (US$650m) fund to help domestic film and TV productions struggling to get coronavirus-related insurance. The £500m film and TV production restart scheme will cover the entirety of the UK. “The UK’s film and TV industry is the envy of the world, and it’s vital that productions get the help they need to restart as part of our plan to kickstart jobs following the lockdown," Chancellor, Rishi Sunak, said.

Culture Secretary, Oliver Dowden, announced the commercial insurer plan to support productions. The proposal requested the government's guarantee that coverage for suspension or abandonment costs relating to COVID-19. Though the exact financial terms weren't disclosed, AMC’s CEO Adam Aron said the company will “share in these new revenue streams,” which means that it will get a cut of any money made on these digital rentals. Universal can put its movies on premium on-demand, meaning the rentals that go for roughly USD 20 each, but notsell films or rent them for lower on-demand fees, in the USD 3 to USD 6 range, until three months after they debut in cinemas.

The decision allowed an estimated £1 billion worth of production to restart in the UK. “Production insurance is a fundamental part of how you make TV programs and films,” said John McVay, the chief executive of the Producers Alliance for Cinema and Television. "There has been no insurance written for Covid-related potential losses since the lockdown.”

The move was also approved by several trade bodies including Pact and the BFI, which have been working with the government to solve the lack of Covid-19 insurance, something that has prevented the majority of the UK’s TV and film industry from returning to work. “This very welcome news shows that the UK Government has listened to one of our key industries and has taken unprecedented steps to support our highly successful indigenous film and TV production and broadcasting industry to get back to what we love most, making TV programs and films enjoyed by UK audiences and many more millions around the globe,” Pact’s CEO John McVay, who forms part of the industry's BFI’s Screen Sector Task Force, said.

The funding will be available to all productions made by companies where at least half of the production budget is spent in the UK and is estimated to cover more than 70% of the film and TV production market to the end of the year. Series “War of the Worlds” is already back in production as is “Death in Paradise,” with several others due to restart including “The Witcher”, “Line of Duty,” and “Sex Education.”

The UK’s film and TV industry is the envy of the world, and it’s vital that productions get the help they need to restart as part of our plan to kick-start jobs following the lockdown.” Rishi Sunak Chancellor,