The BBC is to merge its commercial and production arms into a single business to be known as BBC Studios.
Formed from the existing BBC Studios and BBC Worldwide businesses, the new entity will focus on “maximising the intellectual property value of BBC programming for the benefit of UK licence fee payers.”
The BBC says the decision to pull the two businesses into a single unit will allow them “to operate more simply and efficiently” and create a UK production giant which is “better placed to make the investments others will not.”
The combined company will have a single business plan and will be set up and managed with two divisions, Production and Sales & Distribution, along with a central HQ function and is expected to begin trading from April 1, 2018.
BBC Director-General Tony Hall says: “In a fast-changing TV industry, securing the future success of the BBC is vital.
“Creating a single BBC Studios will bring the BBC in line with the industry, be simpler and more efficient. It will help ensure that licence fee payers in the UK continue to receive outstanding British programmes which reflect British lives, long into the future.
“It will also ensure the BBC can continue to play its crucial role in supporting the successful UK creative economy.”
The new BBC Studios will be led by Chief Executive Officer Tim Davie and Chief Creative Officer Mark Linsey.
Tim Davie says: “Creating one company, in line with market norms, is a natural step in this market.
“The new BBC Studios will be focused on the highest quality British content, underpinning our future financial return to licence fee payers.
“It will allow us to better serve customers, indie partners and the wider industry, resulting in world-class British productions for audiences in the UK and overseas.
“I am excited about the prospects ahead, and delighted to be part of the new organisation.”