HC 743 Support for the creative economy

Further supplementary evidence submitted by BBC [SCE 087b]

BBC and PSB investment in original UK content

This note provides the BBC’s response on how much public service broadcasters (PSBs) invest in original UK content, following the Culture, Media and Sport Select Committee hearing of 12 March 2013 into Support for the Creative Economy.

As explained by John Tate, BBC Director of Policy and Strategy, the PSBs together account for c90% of investment in original UK content. A July 2012 report commissioned by DCMS to inform its Communications Review [1] provides that in 2010 the designated PSB channels [2] invested £1.87 billion in original content (of which £922 million by the BBC). Pay-TV is stated to have invested £215 million (£140m by Sky’s channels plus £75m by others, including Discovery, UKTV and NBC). This gives investment by the designated PSB channels as  c90% of the total of £2.08 billion [3] .

These figures focus on investment in original UK programme-making as it is widely understood, and therefore exclude sports rights and production costs, acquisitions, repeats and third party investment [4] . The report for DCMS drew the PSB figures from Ofcom’s PSB Annual Report 2011 and Ofcom’s Communications Market Review 2011. We would note that, in accordance with its duty to assess the designated PSBs’ delivery of the public service purposes set out in the Communications Act 2003, Ofcom's PSB Annual Report provides an independent audit of investment in original UK content by the designated PSB channels and ensures that the data is collected and compared using consistent definitions.

April 2013


[1] Mediatique, ‘Carriage of TV Channels in the UK: policy options and implications’, Report for the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, July 2012. http://dcmscommsreview.readandcomment.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/120709-DCMS-Carriage-Consent-Report-FINAL.pdf

[2] BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5, the BBC’s digital channels BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News and BBC Parliament. Figures cited do not include BBC Alba, BBC HD or S4C.

[3] If spend by the commercial PSB portfolio channels is included in the total, investment by designated PSBs plus commercial PSB portfolio channels is also c90% of total investment.

[4] We understand that Sky’s announcement of £600 million spend by 2014 includes in-house production for sport.

Prepared 25th April 2013