U.K. Broadcaster BBC Reaches Public Service Profit in Latest Fiscal Year

3:15 AM PST 05/01/2012 by Georg Szalai

The $227 million surplus will be earmarked for potential additional costs for the coverage of the Olympics and the Queen's 60-year jubilee this summer.

LONDON - The BBC is expecting a £140 million ($227 million) surplus from its public service operations for the fiscal year that ended in March, the Guardian reported.

The British public broadcaster has earmarked it for use in case of any shortfalls of its budgets for the coverage of the London Olympics and the 60th anniversary of the Queen's reign this summer. The surplus is calculated by subtracting content production and distribution costs from license fee income.

Internal BBC projections also show that the BBC's commercial business, including BBC Worldwide and BBC World News, will deliver an operating profit of about £219 million ($355 million), according to the Guardian.

A BBC spokesman declined to comment on the specific surplus. "If there is one year that we anticipate will be particularly expensive then it is prudent that we prepare for it," he told the Guardian. "With the diamond jubilee and the Olympics we knew that 2012 would be such a year and have therefore delivered an underspend in the previous financial year so as to have a reserve to cover these extra costs."

Some BBC staffers may not be so happy. The broadcaster has said that it must cut about 2,000 jobs under its so-called Delivering Quality First program to save £800 million ($1.3 billion). Meanwhile, amid a pay dispute, BBC news staff has threatened to strike during the Queen's jubilee celebration.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com

Twitter: @georgszalai

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