BBC Worldwide CEO, Tim Davie, shares future vision for BBC Worldwide

BBC Worldwide has a good track record of taking British content to the world, benefiting international audiences, licence fee payers and the wider industry alike. But the time has come for a step-change, reflecting the rapid development in our markets. In particular, we will invest more into everything we do that powers our entire business, and realise the full potential of the BBC brand with audiences around the world.”Tim Davie
Date: 18.10.2013     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.05
Category: BBC Worldwide

Building the BBC brand, inspiring audiences and driving long term commercial success through:

  • Increasing content investment
  • Establishing new global BBC consumer brands around the world
  • Digital innovation to reach new consumers in UK and internationally

Click to tweet: .@BBCWpress CEO shares plan to inspire global audiences via more premium content, new brands & new digital offers http://bbc.in/H5i4UL

BBC Worldwide CEO, Tim Davie, today unveiled a new vision to build the BBC’s brands, audiences and commercial returns across the world.

At its heart lies an uplift in content investment to secure the position of BBC Worldwide’s premium programme assets; the launch of three new core consumer brands propositions; and a greater focus on digital innovation to extend the company’s reach and routes to market.

Tim Davie said: “BBC Worldwide has a good track record of taking British content to the world, benefiting international audiences, licence fee payers and the wider industry alike. But the time has come for a step-change, reflecting the rapid development in our markets. In particular, we will invest more into the unique content that powers everything we do, and realise the full potential of the BBC brand with audiences around the world.”

£200m investment in premium content

In an address to employees, Davie confirmed BBC Worldwide’s intention to grow content investment commitments, forecast to increase by £30m pa to some £200m. This will result in closer collaboration with its content partners, including BBC Productions, indie relationships and BBC Worldwide’s own production base, through more first-look deals, BBC Worldwide funded commissions for BBC Worldwide channels, co-productions and development of content for non-linear channels. BBC Worldwide will look to invest in distinctive premium British content of the highest quality.

As part of this initiative, last week BBC Worldwide announced it would become the principal co-production partner of the BBC’s Natural History Unit. Today it announces other investments such as new drama series Intruders, commissioned by BBC AMERICA from BBC Worldwide Productions in Los Angeles.

Tim Davie commented: “Significantly higher content investment will underpin BBC Worldwide’s third party sales, as well as our own BBC branded services. As part of our ambition to take high quality BBC and British content to the widest possible audience, we also intend to expand and upgrade our successful flagship annual global sales event. BBC Showcase 2014 will be bigger and better than ever, with record buyer numbers.”

New consumer brands

In addition to a strengthened content pipeline, BBC Worldwide plans to introduce three new genre brands to its portfolio of branded channels and services around the world. The new brands will be introduced through a variety of new channel and non-linear digital service launches and re-brands. These will be launched on a market-by-market basis from 2014.

As home to the best British content in premium factual, factual entertainment and drama, the new brands will build on the BBC’s world-class reputation in these genres, spanning channels and digital platforms alike, and creating new opportunities for consumer connections. BBC Worldwide will keep a number of its existing channel brands in some markets, including BBC AMERICA.

Davie confirmed that BBC Earth is to become the company’s brand for premium factual content, from natural history and the human world to outer space and science. The organisation will also launch BBC First, which will provide a home for premium drama and feature high quality first-run British programming. BBC First will make its debut on the Foxtel platform in Australia next August. A further brand will be announced in the months ahead, targeting male audiences with a blend of content that raises the bar in the factual entertainment space and an approach which captures the maverick spirit of the BBC’s best shows.

“BBC Earth is a compelling way for us to share premium BBC factual content with audiences around the world. It has already proven itself through a YouTube channel, in an amazing live event partnership in Japan and as blocks of programming on linear and digital platforms around the world. We plan to launch a BBC Earth block on BBC AMERICA in 2014.” Davie said. “This is the moment and the means to position the BBC as a true, global leader in all things factual from anthropology and animals to science and the solar system.”

“We are also in the process of developing a new offering in BBC First. With drama at its core, BBC First will offer international audiences a first chance to view a wealth of original and unforgettable British content.”

Greater digital innovation

Additionally, BBC.com, the international version of the BBC’s online site, will be transformed over the next three years, supporting the BBC’s recently stated goal of doubling global reach from 250m to 500m per week by 2022. This transformation will see a greater focus on video content, bringing together all BBC commercial online offerings in one destination. The new BBC.com will include a long-form video player and will represent a single digital route to market for BBC.com’s partners and advertisers. As part of this move, the existing trial of the global iPlayer app, currently testing in 16 countries, will not be extended to any new markets, and it is proposed that the service will be integrated into BBC.com over time.

As part of this BBC.com initiative, and as announced by BBC Director-General Tony Hall, BBC Store, a new commercial service, giving UK consumers the chance to buy, watch and keep a selection of BBC programmes, consistent with a focus on extending consumers’ enjoyment of BBC content in the BBC’s home market. Today Davie shared a further ambition to launch an international version of a BBC store.

Davie said: “The plans outlined today for the next phase of BBC Worldwide’s development will underpin our success over the next three years and beyond. They combine an increased commitment to content investment with new BBC content brands alongside a more powerful and unified digital engine. Taken together, these three investment priorities will serve to grow the BBC’s footprint across the world, both via our own services and our important third party sales, resulting in greater access by audiences to BBC and British content and sustainable cash flows back to the BBC.”

For more information, please contact:

Cassandra Power

Cassandra.Power@bbc.com/ 020 843 31525

Charlotte Elston

Charlotte.Elston@bbc.com/ 020 843 33995

Note to Editors

Plans for the expansion of BBC.com and the global iPlayer app will be subject to the necessary regulatory approvals.

About BBC Worldwide Ltd. BBC Worldwide Limited is the main commercial arm and a wholly owned subsidiary of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC). BBC Worldwide exists to support the BBC public service mission and to maximise profits on its behalf. It does this through investing in, commercialising and showcasing content from the BBC around the world, in a way that is consistent with BBC standards and values. The business also builds the reach and reputation of the BBC brand overseas and champions British creativity.

In 2012/13, BBC Worldwide generated headline profits of £156m and headline sales of £1,116m and returned £156m to the BBC. For more detailed performance information please see our Annual Review website.

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