BBC funding statment from the VLV

The Voice of the Listener and Viewer has published the following Briefing note and press release in response to yesterday’s BBC funding settlement.The briefing includes the claim that, on current projections, the BBC will be in deficit by between approximately £3bn and £5bn in 2027.

The exec summary makes a number of points – the one that may leap out for freelancers – particularly those who work in drama for both the BBC and its competitors – is marked in bold (below) – it seems one of the factors that may cause a perfect storm of the kind that has been sketched out here – one that ordinary viewers (and voters) may notice.

  • VLV analysis of public funding shows that public funding for BBC services for UK
    audiences had already declined by 25% since 2010 in real terms while production costs
    have risen considerably since then.
  • The BBC has exceeded its savings goals set in 2015. Since 2016 it’s predicted to have
    saved more than £950m, with the original forecast being £800m.
  • The genres and channels which will see reduced investment in 2021/22 and are likely
    to continue to do so moving forwards are news/current affairs, especially in the
    regions/local, BBC 2 and BBC 4.
  • Inflation in production costs is rising. Inflation varies according to the genre being
    produced but it ranges from 9% to 35% for drama, partly due to intense competition from streaming services.
  • Emerging financial threats include campaigns to defund the BBC, encouraged by the
    continuing debate about decriminalisation of non-payment of the TV licence and a
    potentially inadequate funding settlement for the BBC.
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