Entertainment & Arts

At a glance: BBC's annual report 2011

BBC Television Centre

The BBC's annual report has been published for the financial year 2010-11.

Here are some of the key points from the review, which is conducted by the management and its regulatory body, the BBC Trust.

The BBC generated £434m in efficiency savings, taking net savings over the past three years to £903m.


The BBC has cut overall spending on presenters, journalists and musicians by £9m - of which £2.9m related to those earning more than £100,000 - from its budget to £212m.

The total paid to stars earning more than £1m was £14.6m - down from £16.96m the previous year - while 19 stars were paid more than £500,000.

The corporation said it would continue to focus on the practical implementation of "reducing rates paid, develop new talent and work existing talent harder".


The BBC says it is on target to reduce the senior manager pay bill by 25% before the end of 2011. It has currently been reduced by 18.3%.

On average, new senior managers are paid 8.7% less than the previous post holder.

Director general Mark Thompson's total salary including pension benefits fell from £838,000 to £779,000.

The total pay bill for the Executive Board - the BBC's very top management team - was reduced by 43% to £2.7m from £4.8m.

The number of senior managers has fallen to 540 from 599 in 2009/10 in line with the BBC's pledge to cut back the number of managers to 520 by 2013.

Meanwhile, the number of BBC staff rose slightly to 17,242 - accounting for four newcomers.


  • More than 640 hours of drama was originated across all network services, including 44 brand new works
  • More than 45m people watched the BBC's special year of science programming

The management's view

BBC Television remains at the heart of national life with nearly 50m people - almost nine out of every 10 children and adults - choosing to watch each week a range of programmes audiences cannot find anywhere else.

The Trust's view

BBC One remains by far the BBC's most popular channel. Its service review concluded the channel could harness its size and popularity to be more ambitious and take more creative risks, in particular in peak time before the watershed.

BBC Two performed strongly showing ambition and creative risk, particularly in factual programming, comedy and new drama. The Trust believes it will get full credit for its content from audiences if it consistently provides a distinctive offering.

Both BBC One and Two could do more to meet audience expectations for daytime content.

BBC Three and BBC Four have both continued to extend their reach, however BBC Four needs to achieve greater impact for a general audience.


  • Radio 3 commissioned 42 new musical works over the year
  • There was more than 13,700 hours in total of news and current affairs programmes across BBC Network Radio

The management's view

BBC radio strengthened its reach this year, ensuring it delivers live radio to two thirds of the UK population every week with distinctive programmes across its stations.

Radio remains good value for money and cost per listener hour across the network of channels is 1.6p.

The Trust's view

Young people are listening less to radio and engaging with them represents a significant challenge for the BBC's radio stations.

Radio 1 needs to focus more clearly on young listeners, although 1Xtra listening figures grew to record levels.

The Trust was pleased Radio 2 has implemented recommendations to make the station more distinctive by strengthening its documentary, comedy and arts programming.

Although Radio 3 and 4 were performing well, both stations face the challenge of appealing to a range of audiences without jeopardising their distinctiveness.

6Music's reach has nearly doubled since the BBC proposed closing the station - it is hoped it can sustain its current performance. The Trust will monitor the Asian Network's future as part of the BBC's wider strategy review.


  • BBC News Channel offered more than 100 hours of sports news
  • BBC News website averaging 11.7m weekly users, up from 10.2m last year

The management's view

More than 80% of UK adults consumed BBC News each week across TV, radio and online. Big events including the General Election, the Chilean miners' rescue and Japan earthquake drew record audiences.

The Trust's view

BBC News continues to be very highly regarded by audiences, however a gradual decline in reach has been seen.

The BBC should aim to increase the impact of current affairs programming particularly on BBC Two to address this issue.


  • The Archers podcast is one of the BBC's most popular on-demand programmes with more than 500,000 downloads every month
  • On average 12.5m people used BBC Red Button services each week
  • The News website generated 11.7m users on the day after the General Election, passing the previous record of 9.4m for President Obama's 2008 win
  • BBC iPlayer averaged more than 100m requests for programmes each month while 1.6bn programmes were played through the year

The management's view

BBC Online was used by an average 20m people in the UK each week over the year. Digital services are used by audiences to improve their experience of BBC content.

The Trust's view

There is still some inconsistency in perceptions of quality across BBC Online and overall quality scores from audiences fell slightly due to reaction from major site re-launches including the homepage, News and iPlayer. The Trust will monitor audience perceptions closely over the next year.


The BBC received more complaints - 240,000 - than the previous year, an increase of 20,000, although the corporation says it is normal to see fluctuation from one year to another.

Some 257 complaints were escalated, 17 of which were upheld or partially upheld.

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