UK content investment hits new high after strong financial performance
Channel 4's Report and Financial Statements for 2011, published today, reveal a year of strong creative and commercial performance for the broadcaster, demonstrating the sustainability of the Channel 4 business model and providing the stability for increased investment in UK content.
The corporation recorded a surplus, £34.5m after tax, and immediately confirmed a further £5m increase to the content budget for UK commissions in 2012 taking it to a new historic high of £455m.
Commenting on the publication of the report Channel 4 Chairman, Lord Burns, said: "2011 has been a year of considerable progress and demonstrates it is possible to make a creative and commercial success of Channel 4. Under the leadership of David Abraham the channel is making an outstanding creative impact on British audiences through the breadth and quality of its content - it has a unique status and important role in supporting the UK creative economy. I am pleased to confirm, following robust revenue performance and prudent financial management, that this year we will be investing more in UK originated content than ever before."
Chief Executive, David Abraham, added: "Across 2011 Channel 4 underwent the biggest diversification of its schedule in a decade. I am proud of the range of content we delivered from Top Boy and Black Mirror to Educating Essex, Hugh's Fish Fight and Sri Lanka's Killing Fields. We increased investment in UK content by 16% and the number of new or one off programmes in peak by 10%. In our first year without Big Brother we grew portfolio share and stemmed decline on the main channel. We remain the commercial leader in VOD and Film4 is in rude health; delivering a home-grown creative and commercial hit in the form of the Inbetweeners film. Building on these strong foundations we will continue to engage our audiences with challenging and stimulating content in 2012, investing more money with a wider range of producers."
Expenditure on originated content in 2011 was £419m, up 16% on 2010. Originated content represented 71% of the overall budget of £592m invested in content, up from 63% in 2010. 252 new or one off programmes were shown between 6pm and midnight on Channel 4 in 2011, up 10% on 2010.
In 2011 Channel 4 had the strongest portfolio share growth amongst public service broadcasters and ended the year up 2% at 11.6%. Decline on Channel 4 was stemmed with the smallest audience loss for 5 years. Channel 4 remains the commercial market leader in VOD with 429m full-length programme views initiated on demand, 15% up on 2010.
Financial highlights for 2011 reflect a robust revenue performance. Across the Corporation revenues increased by £6.2m to £941.4m (2011: £935.2m). Channel 4 sales (which included UKTV from the start of 2011) achieved its target of £1bn. The organisation delivered a profit after tax of £34.5m.
Future media revenues were £52.8m in 2011, representing growth of £8.5m on 2010 (£44.3m). 4Rights revenues increased by £17.8m from £47.8m in 2010 to £65.6m in 2011. This increase reflects the success of key titles including The Inbetweeners Movie and other comedy titles.
By December 2011, 1.9 million viewers had registered with Channel 4 through Channel4.com, a key milestone in achieving more direct engagement with viewers.
Creative highlights across Channel 4's network in 2011 included 24 Hours in A&E, Mummifying Alan, Street Summer, Made in Chelsea, Fresh Meat, My Transsexual Summer, Friday Night Dinner, The Promise, Submarine and Tyrannosaur.