BBC Annual Report – A Good Performance, Some Future Challenges
The BBC's Annual Report and Accounts for 2012/13, published today, reveals a good performance by the BBC in Northern Ireland and highlights some future challenges.
Content highlights during the year included the award winning investigation, This World: Shame of the Catholic Church, while BBC NI drama went into production with the acclaimed psychological thriller, The Fall, for BBC Two.
BBC NI also covered some major events during the year, including the Titanic Centenary, the Olympic Torch Relay, The Queen's Jubilee visit and the Sons and Daughters concert, which opened Derry-Londonderry UK City of Culture 2013.
Digital switchover took place during the year, marked by a live simulcast with UTV, and BBC One NI HD was launched.
BBC Trustee for Northern Ireland Aideen McGinley said:
"While it has in many ways been a challenging year for the BBC overall with the fallout from the Jimmy Savile revelations, BBC NI has scored some real successes which showcased local talent and skills for a wide audience. BBC NI television and BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle have continued to perform well, although we remain mindful of the pressure of efficiency savings under the BBC's licence fee settlement.
"Looking ahead there are some challenges on the horizon, such as enhancing access to BBC services, especially on DAB radio and increasing the amount of network production here."
A review of BBC performance in NI, carried out by the Audience Council NI which advises the Trust, was also published today. It shows that BBC NI services continue to be popular with audiences : Radio Ulster/Foyle remained the most listened to radio station in NI whilst local television programmes and online content also performed well.
Audiences continued to derive considerable value from the BBC's network services, broadcast to audiences across the UK. However, the Audience Council has noted that there could be more network television programmes of interest to audiences in NI. It would also like to see further progress towards a fuller and more authentic portrayal of NI and its communities on the BBC's networks.
The Council identified other priorities on behalf of local audiences, including maintaining the quality and distinctiveness of services aimed specifically at audiences in Northern Ireland; enhancing access to BBC services, especially on DAB digital radio; a need for investment in local news and current affairs online, particularly at weekends; and making more programmes in Northern Ireland for UK-wide audiences.
Notes to Editors
The BBC Annual Report and Accounts for 2012/13 can be found at www.bbc.co.uk/annualreport/
The Audience Council Northern Ireland Review can be found at: www.bbc.co.uk/bbctrust/who_we_are/audience_councils/northern_ireland/annual_review.html
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