Entertainment

Major UK broadcasters are raising concerns about changes to the BBC’s funding model

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Some of the UK’s biggest broadcasters have expressed concerns about advertising competition should the BBC’s funding model change.

The House of Lords committee heard that there is a “finite pool of TV advertising revenue”.

The Lords Communications and Digital Committee is considering how the BBC should be funded going forward.

Culture Minister Nadine Dorries has said she wants to find a new funding model for the channel after the current contract expires in five years.

So all of this means a cut in the public service offering that is not in the interest of viewersKhalid Hayat, Channel 4

The license fee is to remain frozen at its current price of £159 for two years, then increase in line with inflation for the following four years.

BBC bosses have warned the license fee freeze will leave them with an annual deficit of £285m through 2027-28.

About £3.6bn of the BBC’s £5bn revenue is generated from the royalty, the committee said.

Khalid Hayat, Channel 4’s director of strategy and consumer insight, said he didn’t think cutting BBC funding was a good idea and that it would hurt public service broadcasters (PSBs).

Testifying before the Lords Committee on Tuesday afternoon, he said: “Changes to the BBC funding model should not adversely affect its suppliers or other PSBs and, more importantly, what we mean by this is the introduction of a promotional element in the BBC funding model would affect the PSB -damage ecology.”

Explaining that there is a “finite pool of TV advertising revenue”, he added: “If the BBC were to enter this advertising market and make their services ad-supported, yes, one would imagine that the total market size of TV advertising would increase.” could increase slightly but I suspect actually what we would find if that change did take place was it not in the interest of the BBC, it was not in the interest of commercial public service broadcasters and it was not in the interests of viewers.”

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Mr Hayat said there would likely be a lack of BBC funding compared to the royalties currently in place.

He said: “Much, if not all, of that money would come from a transfer of commercially funded players to the BBC. This leaves players at this table with less money to spend on UK content.

“So all of this means a cut in PSB offerings, which isn’t in the interest of viewers.”

The impact on the overall ecology would affect all other broadcasters whose main source of income is advertisingMitchell Simmons, Paramount

Mitchell Simmons, vice-president for public policy and government affairs at EMEA, Paramount Global, which also owns Channel 5, said he was “very, very concerned” if the BBC moved to an ad-supported model.

He said: “The impact on the overall ecology would affect all other broadcasters that have advertising as their main source of income, so it would affect the entire market.”

He added: “We would be very, very concerned if the BBC moved to an ad-supported model that would undermine our ability to invest in content.

“So of course, as mentioned, we are the smallest PSB, so in that case we would feel particularly vulnerable.”

When asked directly whether it would be fair to say that their biggest concern is the proportion of advertising spend, Magnus Brooke, ITV’s director of policy and regulatory affairs, said: “In relation to the BBC’s future funding? Yes.”

All three agreed, with Mr Hayat adding: “Yes, and what that means for PSB ecology is being capitalized on.”

https://www.independent.ie/entertainment/uks-major-broadcasters-voice-concern-over-changes-to-bbc-funding-model-41590185.html Major UK broadcasters are raising concerns about changes to the BBC’s funding model

Fry Electronics Team

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