Press Office

Wednesday 29 Oct 2014

BBC Worldwide Press Releases

BBC Worldwide wins prestigious Queen's Award for Enterprise

BBC Worldwide's outstanding contribution to international trade, and the value that it brings to licence fee payers through its returns to the BBC and to the wider UK creative industry, has been recognised in the announcement today (21st April, 2009) by Her Majesty The Queen that BBC Worldwide has received the Queen's Award for Enterprise.

The BBC's commercial arm is one of around only one hundred businesses to receive the accolade, which is awarded on the Queen's official birthday every year. The International Trade Award recognises substantial growth in overseas earnings and commercial success at outstanding levels, based on 3 years trading results.

BBC Worldwide showed that it had increased its overseas revenues by some 33% and had invested over £1billion pounds from overseas activity back into the UK's creative industries over the last 3 years. It is able to do this by working in partnership with both the BBC and independent production companies to acquire intellectual property, and with third parties like licensees and international broadcasters to exploit these rights through its business operations.

John Smith, BBC Worldwide's Chief Executive Officer said: "It's an enormous honour to receive this award and testimony to the hard work and commitment of all at BBC Worldwide, its partners and customers. Content created by the BBC and the UK creative industries are the lifeblood of our company, whether in television or publishing, and we are proud to represent this wealth of British talent across the world. We pride ourselves not just in generating export income for the UK generally, but also in building international partnerships that benefit the creative industries and ultimately the licence fee payer."

BBC Director General, Mark Thompson added: "This award is also testimony to the achievements of our partners throughout the creative industries including the independent production sector who help make Britain such a powerful creative force overseas. This recognises the work BBC Worldwide do to bang the drum for the whole of UK PLC abroad as well as creating value that benefits licence fee payers."

Recent sales successes include the landmark BBC series, Planet Earth, which has been sold to 97 broadcasters across 49 countries, while the DVD of the series sold more than 3 million copies around the world. Impossible Pictures' Primeval, which airs in the UK on ITV, is distributed internationally by BBC Worldwide, and has sold to 67 broadcasters in 46 territories.

While Dancing with the Stars, which was named as the world’s most watched drama/entertainment programme by industry magazine Television Business International, can be seen in over 40 countries around the world and has been licensed by BBC Worldwide as a local version to over 30.

This overseas success also offers long-term benefits to UK licence fee payers as BBC Worldwide's profits are returned to the BBC effectively creating value equivalent to nearly £9 for each licence fee.

This is the second time that BBC Worldwide has won the accolade. It first won the Queen's Award for Enterprise in 2002, while 2Entertain, BBC Worldwide's joint venture video distribution with Woolworths plc, received the award for International Trade in 2008.

About The Queens’ Awards for Enterprise

The Queen's Awards for Enterprise are the UK's most prestigious Awards for business success. Established in 1966, there are now four categories of Queen's Awards – three for business success (International Trade, Innovation and Sustainable Development) and one for individual achievement in encouraging UK entrepreneurship (The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion). More information can be found at

Chris Charlton

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