U.K. TV exports rise 13%

North America repped 42% of sales revenue

CANNES — Shows such as “Downton Abbey,” “Strictly Come Dancing” (known as “Dancing With the Stars” in the U.S.) and “Sherlock” are helping to drive a boom in U.K. TV exports.

There was a 13% rise in export revenues to more than £1.4 billion ($2.2 billion) in the last year, according to figures published by TV producers’ lobby group Pact and the government trade body U.K. Trade and Investment.

Overseas production of U.K. formats increased from $57.3 million in 2009 to $126 million last year. Exports of completed shows were worth $1.02 billion.

The fastest growing market was Russia, where revenue climbed by 54% to $20.1 million in 2010.

North America represented 42% of total U.K. export revenues in 2010, with Europe contributing 31%, and the rest of the world 27%.

The U.S. remains the biggest buyer of U.K. TV, with sales worth $815 million in 2010, up 13%.

However, there was criticism that British shows, especially drama, under-performed globally because U.K. webs commission shorter runs than their U.S. counterparts.