BBC publishes Annual Report 2017/18
The BBC has today published its annual report for the financial year 2017/18. The BBC is operating in an ever more global and competitive market and this year has seen significant challenges from competitors coupled with ongoing financial pressures. Despite these challenges 92% of the UK adult population uses BBC services at least once a week, and programmes like Blue Planet II, Civilisations, and Three Girls won audience and critical acclaim.
It was a highly successful year for programming with the BBC collecting 17 BAFTA TV awards and 18 RTS Programme awards. Alongside high quality drama such as Murdered For Being Different, Line Of Duty, McMafia and Doctor Foster, there were critically acclaimed documentaries such as Hospital, Ambulance, Chris Packham: Asperger’s And Me and Patrick Kielty’s My Dad, The Peace Deal And Me. Whilst Blue Planet II both amazed audiences and had a huge impact on the public debate around plastic use.
The BBC also announced the biggest investment in children’s services in a generation, with an extra £34m going to deliver more programmes like Hey Duggee, Pablo, Raven, as well as the launch of new apps such as BBC Buzz and Own It - a guide for young people to help them navigate their life online.
On radio, the BBC won 37 Audio and Radio Industry Awards whilst standout programming included the Reith Lectures with Hilary Mantel, Living With The Gods on Radio 4, Flintoff, Savage And The Ping Pong Guy which had a record half a million downloads in a single month and Radio One’s Big Weekend from the UK’s City of Culture Hull.
The BBC’s News services have an increasingly important role as a bulwark against fake news, both within the UK and around the world. During the year the World Service launched 12 new language services around the world and amongst the major news stories covered at home was the UK General Election which generated a record 48 million browsers to the BBC website in a single week.
The BBC continued to serve the nations and regions of the UK, with Keeping Faith, Requiem, Still Game and Come Home all proving a hit with audiences. Meanwhile our local radio teams in Manchester and London were praised for their reporting of the Manchester Arena bombing and Grenfell Tower fire.
Internally, 94% of the BBC’s controllable spend this year was focused on content and delivery and just 6% was spent on running the organisation. £160 million of annual savings were delivered during the year - taking the cumulative savings to £244 million and a significant step towards the latest £800 million target by 2021/22. During the year, the NAO published the findings of their review of how the BBC manages and plans its workforce. The report acknowledged that the BBC has reduced the cost and size of its payroll workforce between 2010/11 and 2015/16 by 6% and 4% respectively, delivering £59 million in real term savings for salaries and wages.
We also undertook a number of pieces of work to ensure that the BBC was leading the way on gender pay and equality. We have committed to closing the gender pay gap by the end of 2020 and recently published figures showing the median gap has fallen from 9.3% to 7.6% following concerted action. Today’s publication of money paid to those who earned more than £150,000 from the licence fee shows further progress towards gender equality, with latest figures showing a 60:40 male to female split in our highest earning presenters in 2018/19 - a significant improvement from 75:25 and we are committed to further rapid progress. Around 20% of those on the list in 2018/19 are also projected to be from BAME backgrounds.
The talent we are disclosing today represents 0.2% of all the on-air individuals we worked with in 2017/18 and 1.4% of our spend on content. But they present or appear on programmes that make up around 40% of all viewing and listening with the BBC. As agreed with Government in the BBC’s Charter, BBC Studios employees no longer feature in the data for those earning over £150,000. Had they been included gender balance of the figures would have been further improved due to the number of high earning women on the list. However BBC Studios is a commercial operation, not underpinned by the licence fee, and must be able to compete with the other independent production companies on a level playing field.
During its first full year of operation BBC Studios had a highly successful year producing over 2000 hours of television and radio content, including three of the five most watched programmes of the year on any UK channel. It also won its first ever third party commissions signing deals with Channel 4, Channel 5 and Discovery.
On April 3 2018, BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios merged to form a single company that will act as a powerhouse for producing and exporting British content. The financial year 2017/18 was the last in which they reported as separate entities and their respective financial statements can be found here.
Sir David Clementi, BBC Chairman, says: “In my first full year as Chairman it is clear to me that the BBC’s public service mission is growing in importance in a fast-changing world. In an era of false information, fake news, and social media echo chambers which reinforce our own view of the world - it is now more needed than ever.
“However I also believe that the environment around the BBC - competitive, financial, and technological - has never been tougher. In particular the financial challenge is getting ever greater. And the market around us is increasingly dominated by a very small number of very large, global players, with extraordinary creative and financial firepower. As the BBC, we need to think very carefully about how we respond to all these pressures.”
Tony Hall, Director-General, says: “I hope this report shows just how powerful a creative force the BBC continues to be for Britain. We’re here to provide great services for everyone. And what this report has proved once again is that, while we can’t always compete on budgets, we can still win the awards, and we still bring the country together and represent its voices like no one else.
“I’m proud of the BBC. I’m confident for the future. Above all, I believe that we have never been more needed in a fast-changing world. And that a strong BBC can be powerful champion for Britain.”
BBC Press Office Notes to Editors
The Annual Report and Accounts 2017/18 can be found here. Details of expenses, gifts and hospitality and declaration of personal interests for Q4 2017/2018 (January-March 2018) for senior managers who earn over £150k are also published today. Alongside the Annual Report the following documents have also been published: - TV Licensing Annual Review - BBC Television Licence Fee Trust Statement - BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios year end accounts
July 12, 2018 3:40pm by BBC One