Audiences constantly expect more from the BBC when it comes to freshness, originality and innovation. This year we've strengthened quality and distinctiveness, while also increasing overall reach and providing better value for money.
We introduced audiences to 144 hours of brand new British drama, with 46 original titles across the year.
More than 37 million people choose to watch our factual programmes every week.
In a year that has delivered our strongest audience appreciation scores so far, producers can feel proud of creating some truly memorable programmes. There's been a wealth of fresh, distinctive and highly original content, including Sir David Attenborough's wonderful series, Frozen Planet, watched by 28 million people. Call the Midwife and Mrs Brown's Boys both became appointments to view. BBC Two's Stargazing Live inspired millions to learn something new, with more than 100,000 attending events across the UK. BBC Two drama re-emerged in the shape of The Hour, The Shadow Line, United and Page Eight. BBC Three continues to connect with young people – from the immediacy of Our War to the intimacy of Alex's story in A Life Fast Forward. And BBC Four's sophisticated content offer saw audiences grow apace.
While measures for quality and distinctiveness have improved over the year, so too has the value we're delivering to licence fee payers. We're four years through a really stretching efficiency programme, with average Cost per User Hour at 6.4p, down from 6.6p the previous year and 7.0p in 2009/10.
We've learnt from our partnerships across the world of science in 2010 and books in 2011, and now we are enriching our relationships with the arts community. Working with the RSC and other creative leaders we've commissioned a multimedia Shakespeare season, with performances and documentaries on BBC Two and BBC Four and a new online resource for students. In an experimental partnership with Arts Council England, we've created The Space to foster creativity and help develop digital production skills.
The BBC continues to cherish its position at the heart of UK public life, with BBC One leading the way for audiences in 2012 – from the UEFA European Championship to the celebrations of the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, and culminating in the London Olympics.
( ) Figures in brackets are 2011 comparators.
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