‘Teletubbies’ bellies up $48.7 mil for BBC

'Dinosaurs' reaches $14 mil

LONDON — The kids TV phenom “Teletubbies” posted international sales of £32.3 million ($48.7 million) for the year ending March 31, its best performance yet and still BBC Worldwide’s single most important programming export.

Full results for the BBC’s commercial division — some were leaked last week (Daily Variety, June 14) — has total sales at $514 million ($776 million), up 15%. Of that, about $105 million came from children’s brands.

Digging ‘Dinosaurs’

Another star attraction was “Walking With Dinosaurs,” a BBC co-production with Discovery, with sales over $14 million.

U.K. and international channel distribution grew by 30% to surpass 300 million homes. Pan-European channel BBC Prime also turned a small profit for the first time after upping its subs to 8.7 million from 6.9 million. Meanwhile, BBC America is now in 12 million homes, a gain of almost 4 million.

Worldwide chief exec Rupert Gavin also confirmed that a partial sell-off of Beeb.com, the BBC’s commercial Internet portal, was imminent but that the partner would only take a minority stake.

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