In its 2016 annual report, Channel 4 posted revenues of £995 million ($1.3 billion) and revealed that it spent a record £695 million ($895 million) on programming.
Of the nearly £1 billion in revenues, digital accounted for more than 10 percent of the total, at £102 million ($131 million) for the first time—up 24 percent on 2015.
The record programming spend was up 10 percent on 2015, with £501 million ($645 million) going toward original British programs produced across the U.K. There were 161 hours of first-run foreign language TV shows and films across the TV portfolio, 28 percent more than in 2015. Channel 4 worked with 317 suppliers across the year, up from 295 in 2015, including 70 that were new to the broadcaster.
Channel 4 Chair Charles Gurassa said: “In 2016 Channel 4 invested over £500 million into independent creative businesses across the U.K., helping to both stimulate growth and innovation in the sector and produce award-winning public service programming that has delivered record levels of public impact.
“As the results today show, David will be leaving Channel 4 in strong financial health and creatively at the top of its game. The Government’s recent decision to commit to Channel 4 remaining in public ownership is testament to both the commercial and creative health of the corporation and the work that David and the wider team have done over recent years.
“I am delighted that Alex Mahon will be joining us as our new CEO this autumn. She hugely impressed all of us on the board at Channel 4, brings an excellent track record as an experienced CEO in both the creative production and technology sectors and is a proven and respected leader.”
David Abraham, Channel 4’s outgoing chief executive said: “The 2016 results demonstrate the scale and range of Channel 4’s creative and commercial innovation, with the second successive year of record revenue delivery underpinned by strong digital growth and our highest ever investment in U.K.-produced content which culminated in the exceptional delivery of the 2016 Rio Paralympic Games.
“In a few months I will be stepping down as chief executive and I am very proud of everything that Channel 4 has achieved over the past seven years. I will hand over a business with a strong balance sheet and in good brand health—well positioned to successfully navigate the current economic uncertainty affecting the advertising market.”