Worldwide Gains for BBC

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BBC Worldwide (which includes BBC America) posted a 9.5% revenue gain, to $1.6 billion, for the year ended March 31 and said BBCA's ad sales gained 39% over that period.

BBC America is one of 44 channels either wholly or joint-owned by BBC Worldwide, reaching 300 million homes in more than 100 countries. The channels division as a whole launched 15 new channels in 2008/09 and recorded improvements across all regions resulting in a 23% increase in sales to $363m and increased profits of $47.6 million.

The channel took ad sales in house in April 2008 and managed to increase the number by 39% over that span, the company said, while not disclosing the ad-sales total. Viewing in the 25-54 demographic was up 23%, it said.

The BBC's share of income generated outside the United Kingdom rose to 51.3% from 48.6% thanks to growth in markets including the United States and Australia. BBC Worldwide's profit of $166 million was down 12.8% from the prior year.

Dancing with the Stars remains the star of the company's production business. Produced by BBC Worldwide Productions in the U.S., it recently completed season eight on ABC as the third highest-rated show in America, attracting a weekly average of 39 million viewers. Overall BBC Worldwide's Content and Production division increased sales by 19% to $142 million globally with a profit of $26.8 million.

Sales and distribution profit in the Americas increased to $20.7 million driven by high-margin license sales and currency gains compensating for an 18.9% fall in sales to $105 million as low-margin co-production activity fell. First-time sales were made to Soapnet and Smithsonian Channel in the U.S., Treehouse in Canada, Rede TV in Brazil, Ecuador TV, Efeckto in Mexico and Hispanoamerica TV/La Tele in Paraguay. The top three titles sold internationally were Top Gear (pictured), Robin Hood and Doctor Who.

In Digital Media, bbc.com, the international version of the BBC's website, attracted more than 400 ad sales clients and a U.S.-focused edition is planned for next year.

The syndication of clips and full-length programs to internet and mobile platforms continued to grow with notable deals in the U.S. with iTunes, YouTube and Netflix.

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