BBC Annual Report Puts Emphasis On Efficiency

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Amid all the talk of News Corp and BSkyB, the launch of the BBC’s latest Annual Report has gone under the radar. So here are a few of the more interesting points to emerge.

The corporation revealed for the first time how many of its TV and radio stars earn more than £500,000 a year. 19 were paid more than £500,000 in the year to March 2011, two down on the previous year. Responding to stinging criticism about top-earners, the BBC also slashed the amount paid to talent earning over £1m. That figure was £14.6m - 14% down on the previous year. Overall, the corporation’s spending on talent was down by £9 million to £212m.

The BBC generated £434m in efficiency savings, taking net savings over the past three years to £903m. The corporation says it is on target to reduce the senior manager pay bill by 25% before the end of 2011. DG Mark Thompson's salary including pension benefits fell from £838,000 to £779,000.

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

BBC Online was used by an average 20m people in the UK each week across 2010/2011. The BBC News website averaged 11.7m weekly users, up from 10.2m year on year. 12.5m people used BBC Red Button services each week while BBC iPlayer averaged over 100m requests for programmes each month (1.6bn for the entire year).

Commercial arm BBC Worldwide reported revenues of £1.16bn for the year. All told, 45% of that revenue came from just 12 brands. The top five were: Doctor Who, Top Gear, Lonely Planet, Strictly Come Dancing and BBC Earth.