The BBC is merging BBC Studios, its independent production unit, and BBC Worldwide, its commercial division, to form one commercial organization.
The new unit, called BBC Studios, will integrate program production, sales and distribution into one entity. The commercial activities already carried out by BBCWW and BBC Studios will be brought together with a single business plan and combined operating model.
BBC Studios will be led by CEO Tim Davie and CCO Mark Linsey.
While BBCWW and BBC Studios already work together closely, including on projects such as Blue Planet II, which is produced by BBC Studios but over three quarters funded by BBCWW and partners, the company believes joining forces will allow the two groups to operate more efficiently.
In explaining the move, the BBC said this structure is in line with the way many other major UK industry players integrate their program production and distribution.
“Creating one company, in line with market norms, is a natural step in this market,” said Davie, in a statement. “The new BBC Studios will be focused on the highest quality British content, underpinning our future financial return to license fee payers. It will allow us to better serve customers, indie partners and the wider industry, resulting in world-class British productions for audiences in the UK and overseas.”
“Bringing BBC Studios and BBC Worldwide together will help secure the BBC’s future and guarantee our unrivalled creativity, risk-taking, quality and range,” added Linsey.
Production arm BBC Studios is known for acclaimed series such as Blue Planet II, Strictly Come Dancing, Antiques Roadshow, EastEnders, Top Gear and Louis Theroux’s latest documentary series.
“In a fast-changing TV industry, securing the future success of the BBC is vital,” said Tony Hall, BBC’s director general, in a statement. “Creating a single BBC Studios will bring the BBC in line with the industry, be simpler and more efficient. It will help ensure that license fee payers in the UK continue to receive outstanding British programs which reflect British lives, long into the future.”
More to come…