In a move to compete against rival broadcasters like ITV and Endemol Shine in the best possible manner, the BBC has decided to merge its commercial arm BBC Worldwide with its production arm BBC Studios into a single operation. The combined business is expected to begin operating in April.
The new entity, which will remain as BBC Studios, will be led by Tim Davie as chief executive officer and Mark Linsey as chief creative officer will aim to bring the broadcaster in line with the rest of the industry by creating a single business plan and combined operating model.
The new business will work to maximize the IP value of BBC programming to benefit U.K. license fee payers and will support the U.K. creative economy by distributing British content as a cultural export and source of global influence. According to reports, the BBC receives about $5 billion a year from license fee payers.
The new, integrated company will also continue to invest in third party production companies and distribute non-BBC content.
In terms of brand licensing, BBC Worldwide is the world’s No. 35 largest licensor reporting $1.6 billion in licensed retail sales in 2016, according to a report.