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JAMCO Online International Symposium

25th JAMCO Online International Symposium

December 2016 - June 2017

The Current State and Challenges of International Broadcasting in Key Countries

Performance and plans of BBC Worldwide

Jeanne Leong
Director Communications Asia, BBC Worldwide


1. About the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)
 1.1 How the BBC is funded
2. BBC Worldwide
 2.1 Where BBC Worldwide Operates
 2.2 What BBC Worldwide Does
  2.2.1 Programme and Format sales Programme sales Format Sales
    A) Dancing with the Stars
    B) Top Gear
    C) The Great Bake Off
  2.2.2 Production
  2.2.3 TV Channels
  2.2.4 Digital Space UK
    A) BBC iPlayer
    B) BBC Store
    C) BBC Three Worldwide
    A) BBC Player
    B) BritBox
 2.3 BBC Worldwide’s Global Brands
3. What next for BBC Worldwide

1. About the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC)

The world’s first national broadcaster, the BBC was formed in October 1922 to inform, educate and entertain. Taking advantage of the invention of wireless telegraphy, it began broadcasting television (TV) signals in the late 30s, but its work was interrupted by the war in the 40s. It became a mass medium with Queen Elizabeth’s coronation in 1953, broadcasting live to over 20 million people in the United Kingdom (UK).

Today, it is the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees (over 35,000 employees).

1.1 How the BBC is funded

The BBC uses the income from an annual UK television licence fee to provide services that includes 8 national TV channels with regional programming, 10 national radio stations, 40 local radio stations and an extensive website.

The BBC maintains a number of separate ventures across the world, of which some help to fund BBC public services.

Some of these ventures include BBC World News, BBC’s commercially funded international news and information channel broadcasting in English 24 hours a day, available in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide to around 300 million households and 1.8 million hotel rooms; and BBC Worldwide, BBC’s main commercial arm.

2. BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide is the main commercial arm and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the BBC, operating on a commercial basis without public funding or subsidy.

BBC Worldwide does business in over 200 territories, with annual sales of over £1bn, and exports best of British creative content to the world using BBC brand and values. It also invests in BBC and indie productions; represents talent and over 250 British independent artistes.

Its mission is to be: “The Premium Content Company That Inspires Global Audiences”.

It does this by:

  1. Building a creative, innovative media company admired worldwide
  2. Growing the reputation of the BBC and its partners
  3. Delivering strong, sustainable financial returns
It helps to keep the licence fee as low as possible, returning a record £222.2m to the BBC in FY 15/16, principally through programme investment and dividends.

In FY15/16, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £133.8m and headline sales of £1,029.4m

2.1 Where BBC Worldwide operates

The business is grouped into four regions: UK; North America; Australia and New Zealand; and Global Markets (Asia, CEMA, Latin America, Northern Europe and Western Europe).

The two global business areas – Content and Brands – set the strategic framework and parameters for activities within the regions and link the business to BBC Worldwide’s parent, the BBC. Digital strategy is embedded throughout the business.

BBC Advertising sells advertising and sponsorship solutions on behalf of BBC Worldwide’s commercial portfolio across TV, online and mobile platforms globally.

2.2 What BBC Worldwide Does

2.2.1 Programme and format sales Programme sales

BBC Worldwide is the largest international distributor outside the US major studios. NHK is one of our oldest partners in Asia.

In FY 15/16, BBC announced the delivery of another unrivalled content slate, with top-selling titles that includes Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, which was sold to 216 territories, Doctor Who S9 and Orphan Black S3.

Against a backdrop of increased industry consolidation, the proliferation of new entrants to the market and the rising cost of content, the company remained focused on investing in premium content and invested £161.6m in content in the year (2014/15: £180.5m).

Drama continued to be a growth area for producers and broadcasters, and made up around half of the company’s total investment. As a result, the company took delivery of a wealth of titles such as Banished, the first locally commissioned production for BBC First in Australia, which went on to become the highest rating title across all plays for the channel. Investment in natural history titles also included Attenborough and the Giant Dinosaur, and the company welcomed two new high potential children’s titles Hey Duggee and Go Jetters. A new content sales programme that focused on insight, customer relationship management and marketing was introduced in 2014, and came into fruition in 2015/16, delivering an 18.4% growth in revenue for content sales, with digital sales playing a pivotal role in this growth. Format sales

In 2016, BBC Worldwide’s development of global hits like Dancing With The Stars and The Great Bake Off brought renewed attention to format development, acquisition and sales, resulting in more local versions of BBC’s hit British shows than ever before and good growth in format sales.

BBC has over 150 active Non-Scripted titles and 62 active scripted titles, and the team is currently searching through its extensive back catalogue for gems to revive.

There is also a dedicated Format sales team working across the global territories and a team of experienced flying producers looking after each title.

Some of the BBC’s most popular formats include:

A)Dancing with the Stars

The multi-award winning, primetime global entertainment format, full of glitz, glamour, sequins and stardom has been licensed to 48 countries across six continents including the US where it has been running for over ten years and 23 series (as of 2016).

The show features professional ballroom and Latin American dancers paired with celebrities. These couples compete in a live knock-out ballroom dancing competition, performing a new dance every week, until they are eliminated from the competition. The winning couple are crowned King and Queen of the Ballroom and presented with a trophy. In the live weekly shows each couple perform either a ballroom or Latin American dance, or both, and are judged by professional dance judges and the viewers at home.

Dancing with the Stars has won over 30 awards worldwide and made Emmy history in 2009 with 10 Emmy nominations.

It remains BBC Worldwide’s top revenue-generating format.

B)Top Gear

In 2013, Guinness World Records crowned Top Gear the world’s ‘most widely watched factual TV programme’. It reaches a global audience of an estimated 350 million and has over 23 million fans on Facebook and four million subscribers on its YouTube channel. The format has been sold to US, Australia, China, Russia, Korea, France and Italy.

C)The Great Bake Off

The Great Bake Off is a competition to find and crown the best amateur baker. Over eight weeks, 12 of the country’s best amateur bakers face increasingly difficult challenges in different disciplines designed to showcase the exacting science behind the art of baking, after which the least successful leaves the bake-off. Behind the icing and sponges, the world of baking is a science fraught with jeopardy truly making The Great Bake Off a television feast. This competition format provides tears and tension as amateurs are pushed to the limit as they endeavour to impress the judges with their originality and skill.

In the UK, The Great British Bake Off was the UK’s highest rated lifestyle programme in 2014 and 2015.

Local versions of The Great Bake Off have been made in Australia, Germany, France, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Brazil, Italy, Israel and Turkey. There are also three international versions of Junior Bake Off in Italy, Sweden and Thailand.

2.2.2 Production

BBC Worldwide has production bases in the USA, India, France, South Africa (in partnership with production company, Rapid Blue), the Nordics (based in Denmark), Tower Productions (a joint venture with All3Media) in Germany, and a non-scripted format production partnership with FremantleMedia in Australia.

In India, it has produced Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa and Dancing Stars. The Hindi adaption of Dancing with the Stars for six seasons, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa won multiple awards and the latest series cumulatively reached 139 million viewers across all airings. In January 2016, a third season of the regional version of the same format, Dancing Stars (Kannada) launched on Colors Kannada. As of January 2017, BBC Worldwide India has produced Dancing Stars for two seasons.

2.2.3 TV channels

BBC Worldwide operates the broadcasting of several international channels and domestic networks.

Internationally, it has 33 international channel feeds, including BBC Earth, BBC First, BBC Brit & CBeebies.

Some of these channels include:

  • BBC America – 50.1% with AMC Networks
  • BBC Canada – 80% with Corus Entertainment
  • BBC Entertainment
  • BBC First
  • BBC Brit
  • Animal Planet Canada (10%; in partnership with CTV Specialty Television, Inc. (80%) and Discovery Communications (20%)
  • BBC Earth
  • BBC HD
  • BBC Kids – 80% with Knowledge Network Corporation
  • BBC Knowledge
  • BBC Lifestyle
  • CBeebies
  • CBBC
  • British UKTV network of 10 channels – 50% with Scripps Networks Interactive
  • BBC UKTV in Australia and New Zealand
The following BBC Worldwide pay TV channels are in Asia:

BBC Earth – The premium factual channel is available in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Singapore, South Korea Taiwan and Vietnam. It is also available as a block on WOWOW in Japan.

BBC Worldwide has also signed a deal with Sony Entertainment Television India to launch a joint venture BBC Earth channel in India. We are awaiting regulatory approvals to launch the channel, which will be called Sony BBC Earth.

BBC Lifestyle – Female skewing and aimed at the upwardly mobile viewer, BBC Lifestyle, with its programmes about food and inspiration for the home is in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mongolia, Singapore, Taiwan, Thailand and Vietnam.

CBeebies is a pre-school channel for children aged six years and under. CBeebies provides a range of pre-school programming designed to encourage learning through play in a consistently safe environment. The international CBeebies channel, available in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Korea and Singapore, is commercial-free and is wholly-owned by BBC Worldwide.

BBC First – Available as a subscription video on demand (SVOD) option, BBC First is the home of premium and original drama from the BBC. BBC First gives audiences the chance to see the best new BBC dramas. In March 2016, Singapore became the first country in Southeast Asia to launch the brand. This was followed by launches on two platforms in Hong Kong and then Malaysia.

2.2.4 Digital Space UK

A) BBC iPlayer

The BBC iPlayer, the BBC’s internet streaming catchup television and radio service in the United Kingdom, was launched in its home market in 2007.

Every programme that appears on our linear TV channels and radio stations is available to view on demand after broadcast, for up to 30 days. Content is now also being premiered on the iPlayer.

Despite the proliferation of many other over-the-top (OTT) players that have launched since, the BBC iPlayer has been immensely successful. Part of the reason for its success is its constant innovation. It underwent a dramatic makeover in 2010, and it is available on almost every device – connected TVs, set top boxes, PCs, games consoles, laptops, tablets and mobile. In fact, 2015 was a record-breaking year for BBC with 3.6bn TV and radio programme requests.

With BBC iPlayer, users can download content to watch offline. Recently, a ‘pause and play’ function was also added so that the show picks up from where the user stops watching, or when they switch devices. A personalisation function was also added that recommends users programmes based on their browsing and viewing history.

B) BBC Store

In November 2015, BBC launched BBC Store as an add-on to the iPlayer. This digital service allows UK viewers to buy or rent programmes once they are out of their catch up window on iPlayer.

By March 2016, the service offered 9000 hours of content, making it the largest and most comprehensive collection of BBC programmes available to own. This includes recent shows, classic TV favourites and previously unreleased gems from the BBC Television Archive. New shows are constantly being added, including previously unreleased programmes such as the lost episode of Dad’s Army, a popular comedy from the 1960s.

C) BBC Three

On Tuesday 16 February 2016, BBC Three, BBC’s youth channel, switched from a linear broadcast channel to an online first destination.

This switch to a digital only service was done for several reasons:

  1. The core audience of younger viewers of BBC Three was rapidly moving online. The BBC Three that was launched in 2003 was pre-YouTube, pre-Facebook, pre-Instagram, pre-Netflix and pre SnapChat. Since then, everything has changed.
  2. 16-24s are watching 14% less linear TV in the UK than four years ago. Currently non-linear TV viewing represents 28% of average daily viewing for 16-24s, but it is expected to reach 40% by 2020.
  3. People who watch BBC Three are increasingly more likely to be online and want new content and new forms of content, online.
The ‘new’ BBC Three features both long form and short form programmes. But more importantly, producers are now liberated from the straight-jacket of a linear schedule, so programmes will be the right length to tell the story rather than to fit a rigid linear schedule.

The content curated on BBC Three is focused on what our audience said they wanted. There are different types of content they can dip into during the day to keep them informed and entertained, and there are also comedy and documentaries to binge watch at their convenience.

All BBC Three originals are available via and through BBC iPlayer. They will also be repeated on BBC One or BBC Two after the launch on BBC Three.

BBC Three content will also be available on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and Snapchat. Worldwide

A) BBC Player

In 2016, BBC Worldwide launched BBC Player in Singapore. The first TV Everywhere product for the organisation, BBC Player is a new authenticated multi-genre SVOD service that allows viewers to watch the very best BBC programmes anytime anywhere – online, as well as via an app on their smartphones and tablets.

Currently available in Singapore to StarHub TV customers, we expect to launch in another territory in Asia within the next three months, and are looking to offer the product to our other affiliate partners globally.

B) BritBox

In December 2016, BBC Worldwide announced that it is teaming up with UK broadcaster ITV and AMC Networks to launch a new streaming service called BritBox, which aims to bring the best of British TV to American audiences. The service will deliver the largest subscription video-on-demand library of British television anywhere on the market today, and it will be streamed ad-free.

BritBox will bring a number of programmes that were not available in the US before, ranging from dramas to soaps and other series. Some will even be online as soon as 24 hours after their UK broadcast, like Eastenders, Emmerdale and Holby City.

Other titles which may be new to US viewers include New Blood, Tutankhamun, The Moonstone, In The Dark, Cold Feet and Silent Witness.

2.3 BBC Worldwide’s Global Brands

BBC Worldwide’s portfolio includes an array of franchise and genre brands, both established and new.

Established brands include the world-renowned entertainment format Dancing with the Stars, the international version of the UK’s Strictly Come Dancing. Over 50 local format versions of the hit show have been commissioned, including in South Africa, India, New Zealand, Italy, USA and Columbia where the first 55 week run of the series has recently launched. In some countries, local broadcasters produce the format, while in the USA, France and India our local production houses produce the show. Every year BBC Worldwide hosts a Dancing with the Stars Creative Exchange in London, bringing together our international producers to share ideas, successes and innovations for this evergreen format.

We also oversee the global roll-out of Top Gear, from the latest series, to local versions in China, the USA, France, Italy and South Korea.

Engaging global audiences with the Doctor, his companion and his nemeses across time and space is a continuing priority for our business. Over the past few years we’ve supported this commitment with a host of activity to including the first ever Doctor Who global publicity tour to celebrate the arrival of the incumbent Doctor, Peter Capaldi, in 2014. We visited seven cities in 12 days, hosting a wealth of events with fans from London, Seoul, Sydney, New York, Mexico City and Rio de Janeiro. Meanwhile, 2015 saw us host the first ever Doctor Who Festivals in London and Sydney. The brand continues to go from strength to strength, with the most recent series drawing record audiences in the USA and Canada.

In October 2013, BBC Worldwide announced a new strategy that included plans to launch three new genre channels, focused on delivering the very best of British drama, factual and factual entertainment: three genres the BBC is respected and renowned for. BBC First (scripted drama) debuted in Australia in August 2014 and subsequent launches included South Africa and the Nordics. BBC Earth (factual) and BBC Brit (factual entertainment) followed suit at the start of 2015 with key launch markets also including the Nordics, South Africa, Poland and Latin America. Since the roll-out commenced, 12 of our 33 international channel feeds now carry the genre brands. These new channels sit within our wider portfolio which includes CBeebies, BBC AMERICA – our joint venture with AMC Networks, UKTV in which we have a 50% ownership along with Scripps Interactive Inc., BBC Entertainment, BBC Knowledge, BBC Lifestyle, BBC HD, BBC Canada and BBC Kids.

BBC Earth is BBC Worldie’s leading factual brand and winner of the acclaimed Webby Award, which has been awarded to BBC Earth’s Instagram account for the past two years. The brand currently reaches over six million people on its global social platforms. In 2016 alone BBC Worldwide have launched two new live experience: Frozen Planet: Face to Face at SEA LIFE London Aquarium, an interactive walk through experience that invites visitors to follow in the footsteps of the BBC’s intrepid natural history film crews. In partnership with Sega in Japan, it has launched two ORBI centres in Yokohama and Osaka. A world first in entertainment, Orbi fuses SEGA’s cutting edge technology with BBC Earth’s world-leading nature content to immerse visitors in the wonders of nature. Taking people on a multi-sensory journey, placing visitors in the heart of nature and inviting them to explore with sight, smell, touch and sound.

Giant screen films continue to be a strong area of growth for the BBC Earth brand; we celebrated two award wins from the Giant Screen Cinema Association.

3. What Next for BBC Worldwide

Looking ahead, BBC Worldwide is optimistic about its future. The company will continue to invest in premium content, particularly in high-end drama, entertainment and natural history. We have also secured natural history landmark series for the next five years, and in the course of 2015 /16 committed a large number of investments in programmes delivering 2016/17 and beyond.

The market for English language drama has continued its rapid growth and the BBC has been a strong player in the market. It plans to continue investing in premium drama, and look forward to continued successes in the coming years.

Jeanne Leong

Director Communications Asia, BBC Worldwide

Jeanne is in charge of corporate and consumer communications for BBC Worldwide’s businesses in Asia including its pay TV channels, branded services, content sales, formats, live events and consumer products.

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