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Governors report progress in delivery - Notes to Editors

Category: BBC

Date: 07.07.2006
Printable version

The Board of Governors has today published the BBC's Annual Report and Accounts for 2005/2006 which records further progress in delivering an efficient BBC focussed on providing licence fee payers with quality content across all platforms. See - press release.


Notes to Editors


The Annual Report & Accounts covers the period 1 April 2005 to 31 March 2006.


The Board of Governors has also published today two reports produced by the National Audit Office, as part of the value-for-money programme of work agreed by the Governors' Audit Committee with the NAO. See separate press release.


A summary of key performance data included in the Annual Report is listed below (pages 6-8).


1. Summary of Governors' Assessment of Performance


The Annual Report, produced by the Governance Unit, is divided into several sections, providing an extensive assessment by the Governors of the BBC's performance. These include:


  • The BBC now and in the future: which provides a description of the new performance measurement framework that will take effect with the start of the new Charter (pages 6 to 9) and the cost of the Governance Unit, which fell slightly from £8.4m to £8.3m (page 8)


  • Pan-BBC objectives: which cover programme strategy, driving digital, value-for-money; impartiality and independence, and accountability (pages 14- 20).

    The Governors' objectives for 2006/2007 are also included (page 21). On impartiality and independence, there is a report on management's handling of the significant editorial issues over the year, including the General Election and Live 8.

    Further information on this is also provided in the Compliance Section (page 89) and the review of BBC News (pages 46 to 49).

    The accountability objective includes a report on programme complaints (page 19), where there has been an improvement in the volume of those responded to within 10 workings days (91% compared to 88% last year).

    The full complaints report is on pages 62 and 63 and notes the significant increase in volume primarily driven by the improved accessibility for making complaints.


  • A review of each of the BBC's services, based on commitments in the Statements of Programme Policy for 2004/2005 and issues arising from the normal course of the BBC's business (pages 24 to 59).

    The Governors summarise their assessment in an overview of each platform:




BBC Television is facing sharply increased competition as the number of digital channels grows rapidly. Audiences to BBC ONE and BBC TWO have fallen and the rising numbers watching the digital channels BBC THREE and BBC FOUR, whilst increasing, have not yet made up the losses.


Younger viewers have been lost in disproportionately large numbers - when they switch from analogue to digital they show an increased tendency also to switch away from television.


Creatively, BBC ONE has had an outstanding year. BBC TWO is continuing to refine its schedule in order to increase its appeal and reach while staying true to its remit.


BBC THREE's audience is continuing to grow strongly - the challenge is to broaden reach by appealing to younger audiences. BBC FOUR has had a very good year and its audiences rate it very highly indeed.


In children's television, the CBBC Channel is in strong creative health and has continued to increase its audience. CBeebies recorded a reduction in reach, a reflection of both the pressing need for creative renewal of the channel and of the increasing competition for its audience.




Overall, BBC Radio continues to perform strongly - indeed its top performing output attracts audiences on a par with hit television shows.


In general terms audiences are strong, although the picture varies across the portfolio and the rising popularity of downloaded music threatens reach to younger listeners who now have somewhere else to go for their music other than radio.


The BBC's digital-only stations are generally in good health and are beginning to make a contribution to the overall reach of BBC Radio.


A new remit for BBC Asian Network was set to deal with some problems previously identified.


We have always regarded distinctiveness as lying at the heart of the remits for Radio 1 and Radio 2. Under the present governance system we believe we have been successful in ensuring that management have delivered distinctive output for the two networks.


Using the tools available to the Trust we believe it will be easier both to maintain this - and to provide further objective measures of performance in this regard.


New Media


The proposed BBC i-Player will be subject to a Public Value Test before we or the Trust decide whether or not to approve a full launch. has made good progress towards re-shaping itself to meet the new tighter remit we set for it last year to ensure a clearer focus on delivering the BBC's public purposes. The mid-term review we promised in response to the Graf report is scheduled for 2007 and we would anticipate the Trust would fulfil this commitment.


BBC management have a good record of partnership with private sector new media operators and we welcome their commitment to continue to develop this.


Indeed, we have made it clear that the Governors, and in future the Trust, will pay close attention to the BBC's new media activities to ensure that the BBC operates in a way that does not inhibit UK entrepreneurial activity in this sector.




Overall audiences to BBC News have fallen somewhat, although the picture varies sharply between media.


In very broad terms, audiences for traditional BBC television news bulletins and current affairs programmes are falling, although audiences for online and on-demand news continue to surge, and audiences to BBC radio news remain strong.


Output across all platforms has remained strong and confident, with notable responses to breaking stories and set-piece events at home and abroad, and some fine pieces of investigative reporting.


The move to place News 24 at the heart of the BBC television news operations is already paying dividends.


Global News


This has been a year of great change in many parts of the division - change driven by the pressing need to respond rapidly and imaginatively to major shifts in technology, audience and geopolitics.


This has particularly affected the World Service, which has undertaken one of the biggest transformations in its history.


We are encouraged that, despite these upheavals, audiences to the division's news services have reached record levels - with tri-media weekly reach above 210 million.


Nations & Regions


Regional television news bulletins and national and local radio continue to perform strongly across the United Kingdom.


BBC Wales has made a particularly strong contribution to network drama this year.


The sense of connection between the BBC and its audiences will be strengthened over the coming years by increased commissioning and production across the UK and through the move of significant parts of the BBC production base out of London.


By the end of the next Charter period the BBC plans to spend more than £1billion a year on programmes made outside London - an increase of more than a third.


2. Financial performance


  • Licence fee revenue £3,101m (up £160m on 2004/5)


  • Cost of collection 4.9% (down from 5.2% 2004/5)


  • Evasion 4.7% (down from 5.0%)


  • Public Service net funds were £18m at year end (from £89m net borrowings last year)


  • Income & Expenditure broadly in balance (small surplus of £3m on Group income of over £4bn. Compares to £188m deficit last year)


  • Headcount for the Group has reduced by 4,000 since 1 April 2004 and 2,523 in the year to 31 March 2006


  • BBC Worldwide returned in cash £185m (up 28% from £145m last year)


  • Cumulative self-help savings £3.2bn at March 2005


  • Self-help target of £3.3bn on track to be exceeded by March 2007 and therefore "broadly zero debt position" by the end of the current licence fee settlement period


  • Public Service Broadcasting spend up £129m since 2004/5, of which £53m was additional spend on the digital channels and in particular on BBC Jam, and £107m was exceptional restructuring costs for the efficiency programme


  • 82% of transmitted programme spend is analogue (from 85% in 2004/5. The reduction is due to boosted spend on sports on 2004/5). Total analogue spend was £1,778m. Total digital spend was £378m


  • BBC defined benefit pension scheme retains a small £13m surplus (on assets of £7.8bn) based on the formal actuarial valuation carried out in 2005 (down from surplus of £274m from interim actuarial valuation in 2004)


  • FRS17 calculation shows net surplus of £170m - up from 2004/5 net deficit of £422m


  • Expenditure on overheads was 11% of all spend on output (compared to 10% in 2004/5 - mainly due to one off benefits last year, including National Insurance and property rebates)


3. Audience data


All weekly reach data is based on 15 minutes; TV viewing is based on all individuals aged 4+; Radio listening is based on all adults aged 15+.


a. All BBC


  • Total BBC Television and Radio weekly reach = 92.7% of population (down slightly, from 92.9% in 2004/2005)


  • Total BBC Television weekly reach = 85.3% (down from 86.6% last year)


  • Total BBC Radio weekly reach = 66.5% (marginally down, from 66.6% last year)


  • average monthly reach was 13.7m adults (up from 10.6m last year)


  • reached 57% of GB internet audience in April 2006.


b. BBC Television


  • BBC ONE weekly reach in all homes 79.7% (down from 81.9% last year)


  • BBC ONE weekly reach in multi-channel homes 77.1% (down from 78.7% last year)


  • BBC TWO weekly reach in all homes 59.1% (down from 61.4% last year)


  • BBC TWO weekly reach in multi-channel homes 52.9% (down from 53.3% last year)


  • BBC THREE weekly reach in multi-channel homes 16.1% (up from 14.8% last year)


  • BBC FOUR weekly reach in multi-channel homes 6.1% (up from 4.8% last year)


  • CBBC weekly reach in multi-channel homes 6.0% (up from 5.6% last year)


  • CBeebies weekly reach in multi-channel homes 8.8% (down from 9.0% last year)


  • BBC News 24 weekly reach in multi-channel homes 7.4% (up from 6.7% last year)


  • BBC Parliament weekly reach in multi-channel homes 0.2% (down from 0.3% last year)


c. BBC Radio


  • Radio 1 weekly reach 20.6% adults (up from 20.4% last year)


  • Radio 2 weekly reach 26.5% (down from 27.2% last year)


  • Radio 3 weekly reach 4.1% (down from 4.2% last year)


  • Radio 4 weekly reach 19.2% (down from 19.3% last year)


  • Radio Five Live weekly reach 12.0% (down from 12.7% last year)


  • Digital Radio networks now reach 2.2 million adults each week


d. All BBC Share


  • Total BBC TV & Radio share of viewing/listening = 42.7% (down from 43.1%)


  • Total BBC TV share = 34.9% (down from 36.2% last year)


  • Total BBC Radio share = 54.9% (up from 54.0% last year).


BBC Governance Unit







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Category: BBC

Date: 07.07.2006
Printable version


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

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