BBC to Grow U.S. Operations


BBC Worldwide announced that it will beef up investment over the next five years in its U.S. operations.

The programmer plans to grow its Los Angeles-based production business (responsible for Dancing with the Stars, Grease: You’re The One That I Want and Viva Laughlin), as well as to open a new cable-television-production hub in New York.

Additionally, BBC America will get a broader programming slate, including enhanced BBC World News coverage, and the network will grow its digital-media businesses.

“Growing our business in America is absolutely key to BBC Worldwide’s global strategy and is reflected heavily in our five-year plan,” BBC Worldwide CEO John Smith said. “The past financial year, we have seen some exceptional achievements, and now is the time to capitalize on these successes and really utilize our capabilities, especially in content and production, channels and digital media.”

The announcement comes in the wake of the BBC Worldwide 2006-07 annual review, which reported profits of $222 million, a 24% increase over the past 12 months (as of March 31).