Ofcom’s first Annual Report on the BBC

25 October 2018

This is Ofcom’s first Annual Report on the BBC, covering April 2017 to March 2018. The Royal Charter requires Ofcom to publish a report each year that sets out how we have carried out our functions as the BBC’s independent regulator, and assesses the BBC’s compliance with the requirements of our Operating Framework, Operating Licence and associated documents.

In this report, we provide our assessment of how the BBC is performing against the backdrop of a rapidly changing media landscape. We also set out the steps we have taken to assess delivery of its mission and public purposes, its impact on competition and to secure its editorial standards.

We consider that the BBC is generally delivering on its remit for audiences through the breadth and quality of its output, but we have identified four areas where it needs to go further. We have written to the BBC (PDF, 186.8 KB) setting these issues out and will discuss with it how it plans to address them. Where the BBC does not make sufficient progress, we will take further action.

Separately, we are required to report at least annually on the BBC’s performance against the measures we set alongside the Operating Licence. This forms the evidence base for our assessment of the BBC’s performance against its public purposes.


Ofcom’s Annual Report on the BBC (PDF, 2.3 MB)

Adroddiad Blynyddol Ofcom ar y BBC (PDF, 3.8 MB)

Annex 1: Compliance with regulatory requirements (PDF, 231.7 KB)

Annex 2: BBC Performance Report (PDF, 1.1 MB)

Annex 3: Methodology overview (PDF, 267.4 KB)

Interactive data

View an interactive report providing visualisations of key data used in the BBC Performance Report.

You can download data used in the Performance Report below.

Infographic: Key findings

Infographic of statistics relating to the BBC in 2017/18. The figures are as follows. Average minutes of BBC content per day across all devices: two hours and 43 minutes for all UK adults, and one hour and sixteen minutes for those aged sixteen to thirty-four. Satisfaction with the BBC by platform, all UK adults: 75% for on-demand; 74% for radio; 67% for TV. Of regular TV news viewers: 79% rate the BBC's news highly for helping them understand what's going on in the world today; 61% rate the BBC highly for providing impartial news; 73% rate the BBC highly for being trustworthy. Of all UK adults: 56% rate the BBC highly for taking risks and being innovative; 66% rat the BBC highly for high quality content; 68% rate the BBC highly for informative content; 63% rate the BBC highly for distinctive content. Around half rate the BBC highly for providing an authentic portrayal people like themselves or where they live. 92% of adults consumer BBC content each week, though this varies by age: 86% for 15 to 34 year-olds, and 96% for those aged 65 and over. BBC total content spend: since 2010/11, TV has fallen as a proportion of the BBC's total content spend, while spending on non-TV content has increased.

Data downloads



BBC Performance Report: data download (XLSX, 27.9 MB)

Download of the data used in the charts from the BBC Performance Report.

Note that due to a data error, data were amended on 9 January 2018 for the following three questions: B1TV, B2Radio and D1b.

BBC Performance Tracker data tables (PDF, 13.5 MB) and questionnaire (PDF, 405.9 KB)

The BBC performance tracker provides Ofcom with an evidence base to assess audience opinions on the BBC’s performance against its delivery of four public purposes. The data tables contain the results from fieldwork period October 2017 to April 2018.

Note that due to a data error, data were amended on 9 January 2018 for the following three questions: B1TV, B2Radio and D1b.

PSB Tracker (PDF, 10.1 MB)

The PSB Tracker monitors the satisfaction and attitudes towards public service broadcasting channels.

News Consumption in the UK

This report provides the findings of Ofcom’s 2018 research into news consumption across television, radio, print and online. The aim is to inform an understanding of news consumption across the UK and within each UK nation.

Children’s Media Literacy

The Children’s Media Literacy Tracker is a face-to-face survey run once a year between April and June. The objective of the survey is to provide detailed evidence on media use and understanding among children and young people aged 5-15, as well as in-depth information about media access and use among children aged 3-4.