The BBC's Window of Creative Competition explained
So, it's that time of year when we publish the annual WOCC figures and look keenly at where the 25% up for grabs has been carved out - how has the investment of the BBC's Â£250million budget in the WOCC been split between the indie sector and in-house productions? This year, the overall story is roughly the same as in the past couple of years, with indies winning 70% of the available business and in-house production securing 30%.
That isn't where the story ends though. Dig deeper and look at the volatility of figures in the genres: year on year we see differences in the battle for each genre. It's creative competition at its very best, with the entire sector - both indie and in-house - in healthy competition and ultimately delivering the best programmes for our audiences.
Think back to three years ago when we launched the WOCC. We were also talking about how quickly the audience was catching up with technology and using content in new ways, how we needed to stop thinking in terms of linear broadcasting and prepare for the world of digital television on demand. But, while the access to content and the technology may change exponentially, what will remain constant is the fact that the best creative ideas are going to be the key to success in this new world.
And that's exactly what we are seeing, year on year. When introducing the system of the WOCC, the BBC reinforced the need for a balanced ecology, making a firm commitment to in-house production and the independent sector through its guarantees, and introducing a window for direct competition. The WOCC's radical approach to getting the best ideas from both in-house and indie is working - both sectors still have much to play for. From whatever source, the best proposals have delivered the range and distinctiveness of programmes this year that is a testament to this heightened creativity, to "Putting Quality First".
The BBC's raison d'etre is providing excellent programmes that audiences love, but what today's WOCC figures show is that there are broader benefits that stretch far into the creative industries. We know from the Deloitte report recently published that overall the BBC contributed at least Â£7.7billion to the UK economy in 2008/2009 - which generates at least two pounds of economic value for every pound of the licence fee.
WOCC plays its part in this and I am so pleased to see competition delivering the very best to our audiences. Now, let's see what happens next year!
Jana Bennett is Director, BBC Vision