'Dancing With the Stars' Boosts BBC Worldwide Sales

10:16 AM PST 07/16/2012 by Stuart Kemp
ABC

The broadcaster's commercial arm also cites "Torchwood: Miracle Day" and "Top Gear" among its successful U.S. commissions.

LONDON – U.S. shows including Dancing With The Stars, the American format of Top Gear and a deal with Starz helped boost sales figures for BBC Worldwide.

The pubcaster's commercial arm cited the delivery of scripted drama Torchwood: Miracle Day -- a Starz, BBC Cymru Wales and BBC Worldwide co-production -- as being among the headline-grabbing sales successes during the accounting period from 2011 to 2012.

Overall, headlines sales hit £135.5 million ($211 million) in the financial year ending 2012, up 31.8 percent from £102.8 million ($160.1 million) the previous year.

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The Americas contributed £114.3 million ($178 million) to the sales figures in the accounting period 2011/12, up from £79.2 million ($123.3 million).

BBC Worldwide Productions, based in Los Angeles, secured a recommission for a third season of Top Gear from History while the 14th season of the U.S. edition of Dancing With The Stars coralled 18.5 million viewers, BBC Worldwide said in its annual report.

But its consumer division sales in the Americas were hit by the weak U.S. video market and the delay of the BBC's landmark U.S. release until next year.

The commercial unit posted consumer product sales of £55.4 million ($86.3 million) in the US, down from £81.5 million ($127 million) from the American market.

Overall sales of consumer products based on shows including Doctor Who, Sherlock and Top Gear hit £211 million ($328.6 million) to the financial year ending 2012, a slump of 15.8 percent from £251.1 million ($391 million) the previous 12 months.

BBC Worldwide posted an uptick in profit overall hitting £155 million ($241.4 million) during the accounting period 2011/12, up 7.9 percent from the previous year's tally of £144 million ($224.2 million).

The pubcaster's annual report, also published separately Monday, includes channel spend.

According to the report, spending on the BBC's TV channels decreased by £37.1 million ($57.8 million) in the period to £2.3 billion ($3.6 billion).

Drama output across BBC television fell by 156 hours.

Lord Patten said: "One of our main priorities is ensuring the BBC produces genuinely distinctive programs, and progress has been made here, although there is more to do."

Entertainment programming across the BBC's network increased by 470 hours and factual content on TV also rose by 307 hours.

In an accounting period that had no World Cup soccer tournament or Olympic Games to boast of, televised sports fell by 389 hours.

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