According to the BBC's annual report, the corporation spent just over £203m in the last financial year on salaries for its "talent", such as presenters Jeremy Clarkson and Graham Norton.
The corporation does not disclose exact details on individuals' pay, but instead gives the number of people in specific pay bands.
It was disclosed that 16 people were paid more than £500,000 in the financial year up to March 31 2012, although this was three fewer than in the preceding 12 months.
BBC director general Mark Thompson earned £622,000 over the year. This was down from £779,000 in 2010/11, but his remuneration was still 15 times more than the meridian pay for BBC employees.
Thompson will step down in the autumn after almost eight years in the role, and be succeeded by BBC Vision director George Entwistle, who will be paid a reduced salary of £450,000 in his first year.
In total, the combined pay of the BBC's senior executive directors fell from £5.714m in 2010/11 to £2.56m in the last financial year.
This was mostly due to a cut in board members from 13 down to seven, including notable departures such as BBC deputy director general Mark Byford and marketing director Sharon Baylay.
Certain executives have left the board but remain on the BBC payroll, including BBC People boss Lucy Adams and BBC North director Peter Salmon.
The BBC's annual report also covers the BBC's production activity last year - showing that spending on the BBC's television channels fell by £37.1m to £2.3bn in 2011/12.
However, radio spending was up by £2m to £640.1m.
Entertainment programmes on television increased by 470 hours, but drama output fell by 156 hours - although overall new British drama across the BBC increased by 144 hours.
The BBC reached 96% of people in Britain with its content via TV, radio and online every week in 2011/12. The BBC Online division touched 42% of the internet audience in the UK.
BBC chairman Lord Patten said that the BBC should be "a broadcaster whose quality and integrity are unparalleled".
"When we do not achieve these standards we should resolve to do better, but overall the BBC consistently provides quality content at the touch of a button across television, radio and the internet. This has been a particularly strong year for news, which we know is one of the BBC services most valued by audiences," he said.
"One of our main priorities is ensuring the BBC produces genuinely distinctive programmes, and progress has been made here, although there is more to do.
"We have also continued to push hard on value for money, encouraging the BBC to continue to drive down senior management pay and draw up a plan for living in more financially constrained times."
Lord Patten said that Entwistle will inherit a BBC in a "strong position financially and editorially" when he becomes the 15th director general later in the year.
"I look forward to working with him to ensure the required savings are delivered without compromising the quality and distinctiveness audiences quite rightly expect from the BBC," he added.
Thompson noted that the report comes on the eve of the London 2012 Olympics, the "biggest single broadcasting event in the BBC's history".
He said that it "shows how we have been successfully transforming the BBC while delivering the quality output our audiences love and expect".
"We have cut costs, yet delivered a creative revival of drama on TV and radio, a very strong year for BBC Radio, continued audience growth in our digital services and new digital broadcasting and production centres in Salford and Cardiff, both delivered on time and on budget," said Thompson.
"This is a huge achievement and I'm very proud of everyone in the BBC who has delivered on the challenges we were set. I know they will continue to deliver for my successor, who I wish every success."