BBC Worldwide Australia and New Zealand has hit back with yet another year of strong growth in the 2015/16 period, nabbing a 5.3 per cent increase in headline sales in local currency.
Results from the UK financial year 31 March 2015 to 2016 saw BBC Worldwide ANZ return £79.1 million in headline sales after currency translation, compared to £81.9 million in 2014/15, and £19.2 million in headline profit, versus £16.3 million the previous year.
This contributed to global headline sales of £1,029.4 million and global headline profit of £133.8 million, with BBC Worldwide returning £222.2 million to the BBC.
In its first full year, BBC First on Foxtel and Fetch TV sustained strong audiences, reaching over three million viewers and attracting a broader audience for its dramas including the locally commissioned and produced, Banished (pictured).
BBC Worldwide upped its offering in the digital arena in Australia and New Zealand to 17 platforms, from Presto and Stan to Lightbox and Sky Neon. In a first for premium BBC drama distribution in Australia, Sherlock: The Abominable Bride, BBC Worldwide’s top-selling title globally for the year, premiered on SVOD service Stan.
BBC UKTV increased its reach in both Australia and New Zealand, while CBeebies in Australia doubled its audience ratings from the previous year. BBC channels in Australia have seen significant sponsorship growth as a result (19.9 per cent increase in revenue year-on-year).
BBC Worldwide ANZ’s TV format business has been bolstered in the last year as well. Six new format commissions will be airing in 2016, including You’re Back In The Room for Nine and TVNZ, a first series of Coast and Mastermind for TVNZ, Coast on The History Channel, and The Great Australian Bake Off on Lifestyle FOOD.
The company has also extended its live entertainment offering, with Australia hosting its first official Doctor Who Festival, as well as YouTube stars Joe Sugg and Caspar Lee and wildlife presenter Steve Backshall presenting sell-out tours in Australia. Held in April in Melbourne, the BBC Proms Australia took place for the first time outside the UK.
Jon Penn, managing director of BBC Worldwide ANZ, said, “Our healthy growth has contributed to a positive global story for the company this year and can be attributed to strong established partnerships, a proliferation of new ventures and the continued quality and breadth of our channel and content sales businesses in this region.”