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BBC boosts UK economy by US$13bn

The BBC claims to have boosted the UK economy by £8.3bn (US$13.3bn) in 2011/12 thanks to the trickle-down benefits of its programming spend, public services and commercial activities.

NATPE 2013

According to a BBC report, published yesterday, the corporation spent £4.3bn over the period on its television, radio and online output and on its commercial activities.

The Beeb said this was “equivalent to two pounds of economic value for every pound of the licence fee,” as it brought money to third party suppliers across content, technology, publishing, marketing, and other areas.

Breaking down the numbers, the BBC said that £4.5bn of benefit to the economy was from expenditure on its television channels, roughly in keeping with the 2009/10 period, while radio services accounted for £1.1bn, an increase of 5%.

Overall, 83% or £6.9bn of the economic gains were attributable to spending on the BBC’s public services – television, radio services and BBC online. The BBC’s commercial subsidiaries, comprising BBC Worldwide, BBC World News, BBC’s Joint Ventures and BBC Studios and Post-Production contributed a further £1.4bn.

The BBC added that moving operations to its Media City base in Salford helped bring £391m of value to the North – up 20% compared to 2009/10 – even though the majority of BBC spending is still focused on London.

The economic value felt in Scotland increased from £355m to £410m and in Northern Ireland from £138m to £151m. However, Wales saw a slight reduction in BBC spending and a corresponding fall in economic gains from £292m in 2009/10 to £276m in 2011/12.

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