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Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 11:11 GMT 12:11 UK
Record investment for BBC
Sreve Redgrave
The BBC's Olympic Games coverage was praised
BBC Director General Greg Dyke has pledged a further 67m for drama, entertainment and factual programming as the corporation's annual report revealed a fall in BBC One's audience share.

Over the next two years, programme spending on analogue and digital channels will increase by more than 450m - a 20% rise and the largest in the BBC's history.

More than 166m of the investment will come from savings implemented by Greg Dyke.

The report showed BBC One's share dropped 1.5%, roughly in line with ITV, but the share in digital homes - the crucial arena for the future - rose.

"In the past year BBC programmes have been at the heart of British life, culture and public debate," outgoing BBC chairman Sir Christopher Bland said, launching the report.

He said it had been a year of "transition and achievement".

Sir Christoper singled out the BBC's coverage of the Sydney Olympic Games for praise, as well as the work of national and local radio, the World Service and BBC Online in achieving record audiences.

Sir Christopher also praised BBC programmes such as Clocking Off, The Sins and Down To Earth which, he said, demonstrated that "innovation at the BBC is not just about reality TV and new gameshow formats".

He added: "The year has demonstrated that through its programmes and services the BBC remains the cornerstone of UK broadcasting."

He said despite increased competition BBC services continued to reach 94% of the population every week and remained valued by audiences, costing licence payers just 28.5p per day.

The report highlighted:-

  • BBC Two share of audience grew from 10.8% to 11%
  • BBC Worldwide increased profits by 170% to 23m and put 96m back into programmes
  • The Weakest Link became the most successful ever BBC format, expected to be worth 30m over the next five years
  • Record extra 265m going into BBC television over the next two years
  • Radio listening rose from 51% to 52.1%
  • BBC News Online success in increasing page impressions
  • In the nations and regions, radio audiences at an all-time high

    The report showed that the controversial decision to push back the BBC late evening news programme to 2200 led to an overall increase in combined BBC and ITV news viewing of almost two million.

    The decision to shift the news had been criticised by the government and the fomer Culture Secretary Chris Smith, in particular.

    'Mistake'

    Sir Christopher said: "Moving the news was controversial but one that has paid real dividends."

    The BBC also acknowledged that its decision not to cover the Queen Mother's birthday pageant was a "mistake".

    The corporation faced heavy criticism for its decision at the time and ITV stepped in to cover the event.

    The BBC board of governors, who regulate the corporation, report that of the 12 objectives set the broadcaster, seven were completed in full and five in part.

    Of those met in part, the governors reported that the BBC had made "good progress" in strengthening BBC One and was moving in the right direction on improving diversity within the corporation.

    Salaries

    Earlier this year Greg Dyke was reported as describing the BBC as "hideously white".

    The BBC is working towards a target of 10% of staff from minority ethnic backgrounds by the end of 2003 and in March 2001 the figure was 8.4%.

    The salaries of some BBC management have prompted much press criticism in recent months and the figures are contained within the annual report.

    The director general was paid 347,000 and 91,000 as an annual bonus and more than 5m was spent on executive committee salaries as a whole.

    The BBC governors have also listed a new set of objectives for the corporation and they are:

  • Launch new digital TV and radio services
  • Demonstrate improved services to the whole of the UK
  • Reinvigorate the creativty of the BBC's production teams
  • Make a compelling case for the BBC leading the development of a UK-wide digital curriculum
  • Achieve a step change in the impact on audiences of the BBC's new media services

    There was criticism of the loss in viewing figures for the current affairs programme Panorama, which recently moved from Monday evening to Sunday.

    In an effort to improve audience figures an extra 500,000 has been set aside for the programme during 2001/2002.


  • AUDIO/VIDEO AUDIO/VIDEO
    BBC boss Greg Dyke announces extra funding for programming Funding pledge
    The BBC annual report presented in full
    AUDIO/VIDEO  real 56k
    See also:

    24 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
    BBC annual report: Press views
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    04 Jul 01 | TV and Radio
    Teletubbies boost BBC profit
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    BBC revives classic sitcoms
    05 Apr 00 | UK
    Greg gets to grips with BBC
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