People/Biz

BBC Studios boasts record year, with production sales up 56 percent

BBC Studios’ financial results for the year 2021/22 see the commercial arm of the British pubcaster touting a 30% jump in overall sales and a 56% jump in production sales, ...
July 12, 2022

BBC Studios’ financial results for the year 2021/22 see the commercial arm of the British pubcaster touting a 30% jump in overall sales and a 56% jump in production sales, with 2,400 hours of content produced and a quarter of all new commissions coming from third parties.

The sales jumps led to a healthy 50% boost in profits year-on year as well, at £226 million (US$268 million), marking the first time the business has racked up profits above £200 million.

BBC Studios also secured strong content sales for the year, at more than £400 million. The outfit highlighted keen interest in such brands as Doctor Who and Top Gear and non-fiction landmark programming such as The Universe and The Green Planet, as well as scripted programming from indie partners.

According to the results, part of the BBC’s overall annual report, investment in content was also up 67% year-on-year.

BBC Studios–owned UKTV also reported a record year, with profit (EBITDA) up 105%. Its channels, Drama, Gold, and Alibi, increased their share by 11%, 7% and 5%, respectively, in the 2021 calendar year, and Dave upped its share of 16-to 34-year-olds by 14%.

In the BBC’s overall annual report, director general Tim Davie noted the uncertainty surrounding the future of the BBC license fee, which will be retained for the duration of the Royal Charter — until the end of 2027 — but with a two-year freeze over the next couple of years, and 10% increases over the remaining four years.

“It is vital that we now have the clarity of a six-year licence fee settlement,” he wrote. “Of course, it is disappointing to face a two-year freeze on our licence fee income, meaning that we will have to absorb the considerable costs of inflation in this period. This presents us with significant challenges, especially given that the BBC’s income for UK services is already 30% lower than a decade ago in real terms.

“However, we have financial stability in the UK for the rest of the current Charter period. Alongside the potential to grow commercial revenues, this means the BBC can focus on the future and on delivering against our clear priorities.”

Among the priorities noted by Davie are “an even more assertive approach” to impartiality, delivering “outstanding, distinctive content across all genres,” and “making sure the BBC is representative of all communities, off-screen as well as on.”

About The Author
Andrew Jeffrey joined Realscreen in 2021 as its news editor. Here, he helps to oversee assignment, reporting and editing for Realscreen's daily newsletter. Prior to his work covering documentary and non-fiction film and TV, he worked as a reporter and associate producer for CBC Edmonton, and as a reporter for The Star Calgary, where he covered daily news on beats such as local and provincial politics, health care and harm reduction, sports and education. His work has appeared in other Canadian news outlets such as TVO, the Edmonton Journal and Avenue Magazine.

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