The company exists to exploit the BBC's commercial assets, raising money which can be returned to the Corporation for reinvestment in programmes. In the Annual Report published on Monday, Doctor Who features heavily and makes a major contribution to the £216 million returned to the BBC, a rise of 19% in the figure for the previous year.
Doctor Who and Torchwood were both listed in the report as one of the top-selling brands, achieving success in in over 100 markets. Other top sellers were Top Gear, Frozen Planet, Spooks, Sherlock, Planet Earth, and Natural World.
Doctor Who also helped BBC America achieve its highest ratings ever, up 23% for daytime viewing on the previous financial year with monthly reach averaging 24m, up 10% on last year's 22m. Doctor Who Series 6 was BBC America's best series ever, averaging more than 1.2m total viewers per episode.
The best-selling title in the digital market in the USA was Doctor Who Series 6, which was the most-downloaded series on iTunes in the USA in 2011. The annual report also notes that Doctor Who now has around 100 separate licensees across a wide range of product categories, and was the fourth biggest licence in the market for boys aged 5-14. In addition The Doctor Who Annual was by far the best seller in the children's books section.
BBC Worldwide has significantly increased the number of live events it produces, both in the UK and overseas. The Doctor Who Symphonic Spectacular debuted to sold-out houses in Melbourne and will tour globally in the year ahead.
The interactive Doctor Who Experience was seen by almost a quarter of a million visitors in London, and is due to open in Cardiff Bay this coming Friday. Three thousand fans attended the first Official Doctor Who Convention in Cardiff over two days in March.
Overall, BBC Worldwide achieved:
- £1,085m worth of sales
- 356m subscribers to its channels
- 31m programmes downloaded
- 25m apps downloaded
- 23m Facebook fans
- 10m live events attendees.