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BBC Studios delivers creative and financial success in first year as merged company

BBC Studios, the BBC’s wholly-owned commercial subsidiary formed by the 2018 merger of BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios, today announces its 2018/2019 financial results.

- Record returns to the BBC of £243 million
- EBITDA up 51% year on year at £159 million
- New deal with Migu for landmark documentary announced today
- Almost 300 award nominations and 79 wins for BBC Studios-produced content
- 15 new third party commissions secured in the year across a range of broadcasters and SVODs
- Post year-end acquisition of UKTV
- Multi-year content partnerships secured with Discovery for factual and extended with China’s Tencent for natural history

BBC Studios, the BBC’s wholly-owned commercial subsidiary formed by the 2018 merger of BBC Worldwide and BBC Studios, today announces its 2018/2019 financial results, showing a record year of returns to the BBC, principally in the form of programme investment and dividends of £243 million (2017/18: £210 million).

In the first full financial year for the merged business, EBITDA (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) were up 51% at £159 million (2017/18: £105 million) on headline sales of £1,373 million (2017/18: £1,411 million). The business made nearly 2,000 hours of programming for the UK audience, secured 15 new commissions for third parties around the world, including Inside the Duchy for ITV, Danny Dyer on Pinter for Sky Arts and Stay Free: The Story of the Clash for Spotify. BBC Studios-produced programmes like one-off drama Killed By My Debt, Strictly Come Dancing and live coverage of the Royal Wedding garnered some 79 award wins for the year, from nearly 300 nominations.

Alongside today’s results, two new third party commissions are announced for BBC Studios Productions. These include its first direct commission in China - a landmark documentary One Cup, A Thousand Stories (w/t), for China Mobile’s Migu. BBC Studios Productions also announced yesterday its first commission for the new short-form digital platform Quibi - BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit is producing Fierce Queens (w/t) a blue-chip series introducing nature’s phenomenal females.

Tim Davie, CEO of BBC Studios said: “It has been an excellent year for BBC Studios, both creatively and financially. Two separate subsidiaries have combined swiftly and efficiently to create a new British studio operating on the world stage, able to take ideas seamlessly through funding, creation, distribution and commercialisation. An extremely strong programme slate has seen high quality and award-winning British content like Dynasties, Les Misérables, Famalam and the Festival of Remembrance play out across UK screens and internationally. Our financial performance, with record returns to both the BBC and to indie partners, underpins this creative success.

“The markets in which BBC Studios operates remain changeable, but we know there is strong demand for premium, inspiring content – with forthcoming shows like Seven Worlds, One Planet and The Left Behind setting the standard within the industry. Our business is firmly focused on investing in talent, rights and ideas, growing our partnerships around the world, evolving our culture, creativity, diversity and innovation, and ensuring we are well positioned to meet this demand and boost our ongoing contributions to the BBC and the wider creative industry.”