×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

BBC Worldwide, BBC Studios to Merge Into Single Operation

The BBC announced Wednesday that it will merge its commercial arm, BBC Worldwide, with its production arm, BBC Studios, into a single operation under the name BBC Studios.

The move will make the BBC’s organizational structure match more closely the integrated model of other major players in the British entertainment industry, such as rival broadcaster ITV and Endemol Shine Group, the BBC said. The new BBC Studios will follow a single business plan and be headed by Tim Davie, currently the chief of BBC Worldwide. Mark Linsey, boss of the current BBC Studios, will become the combined company’s chief creative officer.

“At a time of an increasingly competitive and global market for production and distribution, this new organizational structure will bring the BBC into line with the rest of the industry, integrating program production, sales and distribution in a single entity,” the pubcaster said in a statement. “It will ensure the BBC is best placed to succeed both creatively and commercially and will better serve license-fee payers.”

BBC Worldwide works primarily in content financing and sales of programs, including global hits “Sherlock,” “Doctor Who” and “Blue Planet II.” BBC Studios is the broadcaster’s main production arm, and is allowed under new rules to produce shows not just for the BBC itself but for third parties.

In particular, the BBC said that the combined operation would help it continue to create uniquely British content, which Director-General Tony Hall contends is under threat by the advance of global streaming services such as Netflix and Amazon. “In a fast-changing TV industry, securing the future success of the BBC is vital,” Hall said. “Creating a single BBC Studios will bring the BBC in line with the industry, be simpler and more efficient. It will help ensure that license-fee payers in the U.K. continue to receive outstanding British programs which reflect British lives long into the future.”

The BBC receives about $5 billion a year from the license fees that all TV-watching households in Britain are obliged to pay. The current license fee is about $200 for a year.

Both BBC Worldwide and the current BBC Studios are commercial subsidiaries of the pubcaster. The new combined BBC Studios is to begin trading April 1, 2018, and will boast about 3,000 permanent staff, six production bases in the U.K., and operations in 22 markets.

In 2016-17, BBC Worldwide made headline profits of £157.3 million ($210.8 million) and headline sales of £1.05 billion ($1.41 billion).

“Creating one company, in line with market norms, is a natural step in this market,” Davie said. “The new BBC Studios will be focused on the highest-quality British content, underpinning our future financial return to license-fee payers.”

More TV

  • Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on

    Amazon, HBO Max, Netflix Dish on Their International Plans

    It’s different strokes for different streaming folks as Amazon, HBO Max and Netflix lifted the lid on their international plans in London this week. Amazon said it’s not in the volume game and talked up a select number of hyper-local shows, while Netflix dished on plans to rev up non-English-language originals. The message from HBO [...]

  • Dua Lipa

    Green Day, Dan + Shay, Dua Lipa Among 'New Year's Rockin' Eve' Performers

    Green Day, Dan + Shay, Dua Lipa, Paula Abdul, Kelsea Ballerini, Blanco Brown, Ava Max, Megan Thee Stallion, Anthony Ramos, Salt-N-Pepa and SHAED will perform on “Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2020,” dick clark productions and ABC announced today. The broadcast will also feature Ciara as West Coast host, who said, [...]

  • NOBODY’S LOOKING

    Daniel Rezende on Netflix Brazilian Series ‘Nobody’s Looking’

    Having premiered on Netflix Nov. 22, “Nobody’s Looking” marks the first collaboration between Gullane and Netflix – their second, “Boca a Boca” is in development- and comes from a long list of new projects that the streaming giant has announced with it’s $87 Million investment in Brazilian content. The series embodies the streaming platform’s push [...]

  • Chuck LorreVariety Innovate Summit, Presented by

    Chuck Lorre Talks Streaming Vs. Broadcast, WGA-Agency Battle at Innovate Summit

    With “The Kominsky Method,” Chuck Lorre ventured out of his broadcast comedy comfort zone and took a leap into the world of streaming, an unknown quantity for him. During a keynote conversation at the Variety Innovate summit, held Thursday at the 1 Hotel in West Hollywood, Lorre talked about how making a show for a [...]

  • Jason Segel as Peter, Eve Lindley

    TV News Roundup: AMC Announces 'Dispatches From Elsewhere' Premiere Date

    In today’s TV news roundup, “Dispatches From Elsewhere” starring Jason Segel has been scheduled for a two-night premiere date and Netflix released a teaser for Season 2 of “You.” CASTINGS Briana Cuoco has been cast in HBO Max’s “The Flight Attendant” in the recurring role of Cecilia. The series details the chilling story of a flight [...]

  • Supergirl -- "Crisis on Infinite Earths:

    'Arrowverse' Boss Breaks Down Journey to 'Crisis on Infinite Earths'

    It’s an event nearly 500 hours in the making when the “Arrowverse” and fellow CW superhero series “Black Lightning” collide in the five-part epic crossover event, “Crisis on Infinite Earths.” Inspired by the iconic graphic novel by the same name, “Crisis on Infinite Earths” finds the “Arrowverse” heroes — including Green Arrow (Stephen Amell), The [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content