BBC director general calls for ‘serious public service investment’ amid cuts

The BBC’s director general called for “serious investment in public service” if it wants to compete with international rivals in the coming years.

im Davie said at a Royal Television Society event in London that the BBC needed more money to support the World Service and “avoid further cuts”.

Some 382 jobs at the service, often seen as a source of UK soft power, are being lost as part of a plan to shift to digital-led delivery, with Arabic-language broadcasting services. and Persian are among those services that are closing.


The King during a visit to BBC World Service (Hannah McKay/PA)

He said he plans to discuss the matter with the Office of Foreign Affairs, Commonwealth and Development, and warned that Russia and China are “investing hundreds of millions of dollars in post-state services.” contradiction”.

“We have a choice to make,” he added.

The BBC has said that due to frozen license fees and inflation, it faces a funding gap of £400m by 2026/2027 and must save.

Mr Davie said UK media were in “real peril” with a “life-threatening challenge to our local media and the social and cultural benefits they bring”. “.

“The threat is not whether there is a choice, but the scope of future choice and what factors shape it,” he added.

But in the most ambitious scenarios, this won’t change the need for serious public service investmentTim Davie

In his speech, Mr. Davie described a blueprint for what the media market in the next decade will look like.

“As we look to the 2030s, we are more open to future funding mechanisms,” he said.

“But we are clear that it is important that we need a universal solution to drive UK public service growth, not stifle it while providing audiences with value that is superior to that of the UK public service. amount spent.

“Of course, the latest deal already includes increased debt for BBC Studios, which is welcome and we are very ambitious about its prospects.

“In addition to our commercial plans, we will continue to cut investment costs and attract more partner investment, such as the latest deal we announced with Disney for Doctor Who.

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“But in the most ambitious scenarios, this won’t change the need for serious investment in public service.”

Earlier this year, former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries announced license fees would be frozen at £159 for the next two years until April 2024.

She said she wanted to find a new funding model before the current deal expires in 2027 because it’s “completely outdated.”

The new minister, Michelle Donelan, said this week it was “impossible” to maintain the BBC’s current license fee model, confirming she plans to continue the Government’s review of the annual fee.

Mr Davie said the BBC, politicians, regulators and the whole industry must work together to “leave a legacy of a world leading media market where the UK is thriving or accepting, In our view, the decline is slow.”

He also said “broadcast shutdowns will and will happen over time” and the BBC should “actively plan for that”.

He suggests there is a “bad thing that could happen” when access to the BBC is no longer common or “can’t afford to pay for too many people”.

He added: “The case is that the gateway to content is owned by well-capitalized foreign companies.

To avoid this, the country must “close the gap and ensure accessibility for all,” he said, describing the Government’s efforts to improve broadband access. fixed and 5G or 4G is “important”. BBC director general calls for ‘serious public service investment’ amid cuts

Fry Electronics Team

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