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90% of UK adults used BBC services in last 12 months

March 31, 2021

More than 90 per cent of UK adults used BBC services each week, across the last 12 months – with a monthly figure of 97 per cent.

There was also record use of online services, with 33 million UK adults visiting BBC Online on average per week.

The figures were released in the BBC’s annual plan for 2021/22, alongside research which shows almost three quarters of the public say the BBC is a national institution to be proud of and more than three quarters say the BBC is important to people in the UK.

Richard Sharp, BBC chairman, says: “This year has shown what a vital role the BBC plays across the UK. We have put plans in place to transform the BBC for the future, we are endeavouring to bring ourselves closer to audiences and we have a huge part to play in the country’s recovery from the pandemic.”

Tim Davie, Director-General, added: “There is no doubt that in a turbulent and difficult 12 months we have risen to the challenge of informing, educating and entertaining the whole of the United Kingdom. We must use these experiences – our biggest ever education offer, the uninterrupted delivery of trusted news and the amazing efforts to resurrect the production of brilliant TV and radio – to shape what comes next, which is a BBC that delivers for everyone and offers great value.”

The research hows:

  • Among UK adults, the average audience of BBC News at Six has regularly been over 5 million in 2020, the largest regular audience for almost twenty years. BBC One’s 6.30pm news programme in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the English regions continues to be the UK’s most-watched news programme
  • Our expanded education offer – Lockdown Learning – brought a record breaking 5.8 million visitors to BBC Bitesize and almost 1 million iPlayer requests for Bitesize Daily shows for the first week when launched in January
  • The BBC brought live top-tier English league football back to BBC TV for the first time since 1988, with 5.7 million watching Southampton beat Manchester City in July – setting a new viewing record for the Premier League in the UK
  • In the last six months, 900,000 more 16-34 accounts used BBC Sounds for the first time
  • In 2020, iPlayer broke new records, with 5.8 billion requests to stream programmes, up 31 per cent on the year before
  • The UK public chooses the BBC around 250 million times a day. Every single minute of the day and night, the BBC is being used by 5 million adults, on average, and 45 million of all ages across an average day
  • Over a month, almost everyone in the UK uses the BBC

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