What is in store for the next round of BBC cuts?

What is in store for the next round of BBC cuts?

The BBC have asked their Anne Bulford to produce a report, “Driving efficiency at the BBC” that shows where the next lot of cuts are going to happen.  What does it mean for you?

What can the BBC cut this time?  Photograph: BBC

What can the BBC cut this time?  Photograph: BBC

Perhaps one should not be suspicious, but Anne Bulford’s “Driving efficiency” report[1] was published by Reform, rather than the BBC and it missed out one rather important graphic[2], which I have shown here:

Let’s explore what this means.  Here from my <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link iconearlier posting are the costs per hour and the <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.ukfree.tv link icon"> link icontotal annual costs of various BBC services.

BBC costs per hour for TV and radio services

 

The BBC is going to have to take tough decisions because this amount of money cannot be saved without some services going off air or being cut considerably.

 

£35m a year from Radio

If Radio 4 is protected, I suspect that this means that Radio 3 will be reduced by two-thirds to a peak hour’s service, plus the possible “merger” of 1Xtra into Radio 1.   Other possibilities might be the “merger” of Radio 3 and 4, with classical music being reduced to The Proms and selected other evenings.

More networking of BBC Local radio in England, using Radio 5 Live as a sustaining feed.

£250m a year from television (not sports, news or Children’s)

With BBC One being generally efficient, the cuts could be achieved by making BBC Two a less extensive service (perhaps making half of peak as repeats), with the parallel closure of BBC 4, replacing the channel with a cheap BBC Two+1.

Cut back of BBC regional news to evening programme only and reduction in length of programme to 20 minutes daily, much in line what ITV has done.    Also the merge-back of the Oxfordshire service into South Today and the recombination of Look East into a single programme.

£92m a year from News

General cut of 14% from the scope of programmes.

£58m a year from “BBC North” (Sports, Children’s, 5 Live)

Probably cuts like closing of Breakfast at weekends and holidays and reduction in weekday hours, large reduction in CBBC budget, overnight service from 5 Live and so forth.   Or moving 5 Live to just relay the TV News channel outside Breakfast and Drivetime news shows.

Given the cost of sports right, perhaps the reduction in scope will mean cutting back BBC Sport to just sports news?

£59m a year from Strategy/Digital

Reduction in scope of new services.

£27m a year from Scotland

Closing of expensive drama, River City plus “merger” of BBC Scotland and Gaelic radio service. Reduction in Scottish news to 20 minutes evening weekdays.

£28m a year from BBC Wales

Cut of welsh-language drama, “merger” of Welsh and English language radio services. Reduction in Welsh news to 20 minutes evening weekdays.

£18m a year from BBC NI

Reduction in NI news to 20 minutes evening weekdays.

£167m a year from finance and operations

This is mainly the cost of workplaces, technology and distribution.     Distribution needs to take the most and this will no doubt mean the closing of AM radio, possible move the remains of Radio 3 to digital only.

 

[1] <img src="data:image/png;base64,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" style="vertical-align:text-bottom" alt="www.reform.co.uk link icon"> link iconDriving efficiency at the BBC: To deliver quality content for the Licence Fee payer -November 2014 [pdf]

[2] From http://www.broadcastnow.co.uk/broadcasters/bbc-hints-at-savings-focus/5080644.article but with corrections.

Over to you

Try and imaging, rather than what you personally like, but what you think would be best for the country as a whole.

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