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BBC to Implement Cuts Following License-Fee Freeze


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Posted (edited)

On May 26th, BBC Director-General Tim Davie announced plans to cut staff and services in an effort to save £500 Million annually over the next few years. The plan is billed as a “digital-first” initiative to modernize the corporation, but is being implemented after the British government announced a freeze of the television license-fee at £159 ($200) for the next two years. The BBC is funded entirely by said license-fee, and the current UK government has previously criticized this method of funding.

 

Highlights:

  • BBC World News will merge into the domestic BBC News Channel. BBC News will serve as the sole news channel for both the UK and international audiences, though there will be some separate broadcasts for the British and world feeds.
  • BBC Four and CBBC will cease linear broadcasting, and will become digital-only services through BBC iPlayer.
  • Radio 4 Extra will cease linear broadcasting, and will become digital-only through BBC Sounds.
  • The regional news program in Oxford will be axed this November, and will merge with the news program from Southampton.
  • The BBC will request Ofcom to lift some restrictions on BBC iPlayer
  • “A number” of BBC World Service languages will become online-only.
  • 1,000 staff are projected to be cut over the next few years.

 

Links:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/mediacentre/2022/plan-to-deliver-a-digital-first-bbc/

https://www.bbc.com/news/entertainment-arts-61591674

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-england-oxfordshire-61593568

https://deadline.com/2022/05/bbc-close-cbbc-bbc-four-linear-channels-1000-redundancies-expected-public-broadcaster-next-few-years-1235033365/

Edited by nycnewsjunkie
Edited for clarity
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So on top of this and Channel 4 to go private, What would the UK television scene look like when all this is done?

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 6/1/2022 at 12:51 AM, NYTV said:

So on top of this and Channel 4 to go private, What would the UK television scene look like when all this is done?

My apologies for not responding to this earlier, as it never showed up in my notifications.

 

Much of the current media measures being taken by the Boris Johnson's government are political in nature. In the case of Channel 4, it's news department (which, admittedly, is rather leftish) is not friendly to his administration, and that is one of the major factors behind privatization. The gov't might claim it has to do with making Channel 4 more competitive and freeing up a burden on taxpayers, but Channel 4 was never meant to be a competitive network. Furthermore, it wouldn't free up any burdens, since Channel 4 receives no public funding, even though it is publicly owned.

 

In the case of the BBC, there's a valid case to be made that inflation has made it difficult to justify the license fee being increased, hence the freeze. However, Johnson's government has also been hostile to the BBC, and Nadine Dorries (the culture secretary) has advocated for the permanent abolition of the license fee in the past. Such a move would completely change the nature of the BBC, and weaken it to the core. If I had to guess, the UK television scene would have a stronger private sector at the expense of public broadcasting, but considering that Johnson's government isn't all that popular at the moment, nothing is definitive.

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  • 1 month later...
On 6/19/2022 at 8:53 PM, nycnewsjunkie said:

If I had to guess, the UK television scene would have a stronger private sector at the expense of public broadcasting, but considering that Johnson's government isn't all that popular at the moment, nothing is definitive.

I mean, wasn’t a similar argument used for the Broadcasting Act 1990 for the lessening of government oversight and regulation of ITV (Which was arguably done for political reasons as well)?I guess the merger and accusation era will only continue, even if the UK media market is already highly consolidated.

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