Rocked by scandal in the past few months, the BBC has released a new report that could help to burnish its image. The study outlines the economic value of the BBC, saying the public broadcaster spent a total of £4.3B ($6.9B) in 2011 and 2012 which generated £8.3B ($13.3B) for the UK economy, a 4% increase over the 2009/10 period. Of that, £4.5B was from spend on its TV channels. The study equates the benefit to £2 of economic value for every pound of the license fee that is paid annually by the British public. In comparison, publicly listed satcaster BSkyB found in July last year that it had contributed £5.4B to the UK’s gross domestic product in 2011. In September, a BFI and Pinewood Shepperton-commissioned study said British film contributes over £4.6B to annual UK GDP.
The bulk of BBC spending remains centralized in London, despite steps to move the group out of the capital. Commercial arm BBC Worldwide “contributes to UK growth directly through its headline sales” which amounted to a little over £1B in the period. The report highlights the success of the U.S. remake of its Strictly Come Dancing format, aka Dancing With The Stars, which recently wrapped its 15th cycle. BBCW’s gross value added to the UK economy was £947M. BBC director of policy and strategy, John Tate, noted in a blog post that the study’s findings in relation to the license fee provide, “an extra reason for Ofcom to think again before it implements a spectrum tax next year.” The British regulator has considered attaching a levy to the spectrum broadcasters use to transmit programs which Tate contends would “remove much-needed cash from the UK’s creative sector.”
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