I have taken an interest in the BBC’s financial balance of trade on Intellectual Property. Their annual report can be found here … while the National Audit Office undertook a landscape review on their commercial services. The annual report is a typical haven’t we done well and getting the answers to the questions I am asking is very hard, almost as if they’re hiding it. Here are some notes.
In the financial report they highlight with pride, their agreement with the Discovery Channel which allowed them to bring the Olympics to the BBC platform; which is good, but the IOC is notorious for the rigour of its monetisation strategies. How much did they spend? What do they now own?
In fact sport is an important part of IP spend for any media company and the annual report highlights its delivery of Wimbledon, the FA Cup, the World Athletics Championships, hosted in London, Six Nations Rugby and the Winter Olympics in Korea (see above). These all ensure that these national sporting events reach a free platform. I think we should know as it’s possible that the BBC’s negotiating arm for the UK events, (and cricket is missing from the list) could/should be strengthened by legislation.
In the NAO report, they identify IP growth as a key challenge for the BBC commercial businesses, but they have no metrics. They aslo state that the BBC commercial arm needs to improve its transparency since it is no regulated by Ofcom and subject to NAO audits.