BBC Studios has fallen well short of its targets for commissions from third-party (bbc world news)  streamers and broadcasters and is too reliant on old brands like Doctor Who to prop up its revenue.



That’s the verdict of a detailed 43-page report on the BBC’s commercial production (bbc world news)  and distribution arm by the National Audit Office (NAO), the UK’s public sector spending watchdog.

The BBC spun off its huge production division into BBC Studios in 2016 and two years later merged it with distribution arm BBC Worldwide. A major ambition (bbc world news)  behind the move was to ensure BBC producers could go out to other streamers and broadcasters and win new business, rather than only serving the BBC’s television channels.


The NAO said the planning that went into creating BBC Studios ensured it made a (bbc world news)  “good start,” but it found that the commercial entity failed to meet forecasts in terms of the revenue it generated from third-party commissions, such as its Amazon co-production Good Omens.



In 2018-19, BBC Studios predicted it would earn £18M ($23.5M) from third-party (bbc world news)  commissions, but in reality, it made less than half this, posting a revenue of £8M. BBC Studios is also set to miss its £31M target in 2019-20, with its (bbc world news)  revenue currently tracking at £22M, according to the report.

Furthermore, the NAO said BBC Studios is not creating enough new shows and is too reliant on old brands. BBC Studios said it would generate £83M of revenue (bbc world news)  from new BBC and third-party brands in 2018-19, but only made £28M.

Only four of BBC Studios’ top 16 money-making shows in 2019-20 were first (bbc world news)  produced in the past 10 years. These included David Attenborough’s (bbc world news)  natural history show Seven Worlds, One Planet, and Brian Cox series The Planets, both of which were delivered last year. The other 12 shows consisted of brands like Doctor WhoTop Gear and Strictly Come Dancing.