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Wednesday, 4 July, 2001, 13:50 GMT 14:50 UK
Teletubbies boost BBC profit
The Teletubbies have generated 116m since launch
Children's shows Teletubbies, Tweenies, Bob the Builder and Noddy have propelled the commercial arm of the BBC to record profits.

BBC Worldwide made 23m in profit last year, up 170% on the previous year, with sales of 587m, more than double the level of six years ago.

The BBC's children's brands are one of the biggest revenue earners for the corporation - the Teletubbies have generated more than 116m since launch.

BBC Director General Greg Dyke has pledged a further 67m for drama, entertainment and factual programming in the coming 12 months.

Other top brands which have boosted BBC revenue include Top of the Pops, Walking with Dinosaurs and The Weakest Link, which has now been exported to 40 countries.

Programme content

The quiz show, fronted both in the UK and the US by the acerbic Ann Robinson, is expected to be worth about 30m to the BBC over the next five years.

Sales from children's television brands grew to 90m last year, compared with 10m in 1997.

Last year the worldwide division put 96m back into programmes and services, up 17% on the last year.

In all, 81% of the BBC's income was spent on programme content last year, up 5% on the previous year.

In total, the BBC spends 2,425m on its programmes and services with 2,371m of that generated by the licence fee.

The large bulk of that sum, 1,324m, goes to television, with 290m spent on radio, 365m on the nations and regions and 144m on digital services.

The BBC's news services spent 342m in 2000/2001, the largest single spend by a programme genre.

Factual and learning programmes cost 308m, while 294m was spent on entertainment and 268m on drama.

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