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Top BBC earners cost more than £16m
The BBC paid more than £16 million to top talent in 2011/12, according to its accounts.
That is down from more than £21 million the year before.
The BBC does not disclose individual salaries despite calls for it to do so, but instead details the number of individuals in separate bands of £500,000 to £750,000, £750,000 to £1 million and from £1 million to £5 million.
Accounts which have published show 16 top earners shared around £16.4 million in 2011/12.
Among the names widely reported to earn more than £1 million a year are Match of the Day host Gary Lineker. In 2010/11, 19 people filled the top three bands pulling in pay of more than £21 million. Stars reported to have taken pay cuts include Graham Norton and Jeremy Paxman.
Speaking to reporters, out-going director-general Mark Thompson said the BBC faced a "resurgent market for talent" and said it was partly caused by the expansion in original programming by Sky.
The report also showed network hours of sport on BBC One were down from 697 to 580 year on year. The hours of broadcast sport were also down on BBC Two from 965 in 2010/11 to 763 in 2011/12.
Entertainment was up to 709 hours on BBC One from 585 hours in 2010/11 and also increased on BBC Two and Three, while the amount of drama on BBC One was down from 808 hours in 2010/11 to 690 in 2011/12.
Mr Thompson said the figures reflected the corporation's move away from bought-in dramas during daytime broadcasting and late at night and showing more repeats from the BBC "archive".
He said the BBC had delivered "quality output", saying: "We have cut costs, yet delivered a creative revival of drama on TV and radio."