London Calling season a ratings hit for BBC Worldwide channels across the globe

Our aim for the London Calling season was to unite our global audience so that they could feel close to the action and truly part of the celebrations."Jana Bennett, President Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer
Date: 03.09.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.16
Category: BBC Worldwide
London Calling, the latest global television viewing event from BBC Worldwide Channels has proved to be a ratings hit for the network with an uplift in audience figures across key markets such as India, Mexico, Singapore and Poland. The season’s diverse mix of programming also saw a rise in new viewers tuning into the channel portfolio for the first time.

London Calling began with live coverage of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations and featured a fantastic line up of exclusive dramas, comedies and documentaries that celebrated the wonderful city that is London. The two-month season ran across BBC Worldwide channels’ global network and the BBC Global iPlayer in selected markets.

Jana Bennett, President Worldwide Networks and Global BBC iPlayer said: “London has been at the centre for two of the biggest and most exciting spectacles of 2012 - the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Celebrations and the Olympic games. Our aim for the London Calling season was to unite our global audience so that they could feel close to the action and truly part of the celebrations. Close to 5 million people joined us for the live broadcasts of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations across our channels network at the start of the season and I am delighted that many of them stayed on to enjoy the range of comedies, dramas and documentaries that celebrated the diverse, eclectic and exciting city that is London.”

Highlights include:

BBC Entertainment in India achieved an audience ratings uplift of 71% during the London Calling season (19 May- 29 July) in comparison to the previous six months average. The adventures of Baker Street’s super sleuth Sherlock, East-End crime drama Whitechapel, and Olympic mockumentary series Twenty Twelve proved to be the biggest draw for Indian audiences outside of the live broadcast of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations.

In Australia, the London Calling season was successful in reaching over 3 million viewers during the two month period overall, 40% of these viewers were new to UKTV.

In Mexico, London-based crime drama’s Whitechapel and Sherlock were a big hit with audiences, each ranking as the #2 pay TV programmes in their respective timeslots. Overall the London Calling season increased the audience reach for BBC Entertainment by 44% compared to the previous three month period.

In Singapore, the popularity of the London Calling season pushed BBC Knowledge to the top of the rankings in its competitive set, making it the #1 factual channel during June 2012. Programmes from the season such as The Diamond Queen, Britain’s Royal Weddings and live broadcasts of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations accounted for 9 of the top 10 programmes on BBC Knowledge for the month of June.

Stand-up comedy was a popular choice with the BBC Entertainment audience in South Africa as programmes in the season such as Michael McIntyre, Hello Wembley and Lee Evans: Live From the West End contributed to a +65% uplift in audience in share compared to the previous 3 months.

In Poland the popularity of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations along with shows in the season such as Kate: Creating an Icon, Queen: Days of our Lives and London-centric episodes of Come Dine With Me and The Secret Millionaire contributed to a fantastic summer for BBC Entertainment. July ranked as 2nd best month for the channel since its launch in December 2007.

London Calling is one of a number of global viewing events from BBC Worldwide channels for 2012. March saw the first broadcast of Sport Relief to a global audience and in May Planet Earth Live was broadcast to 140 countries.

Louise Loffel