The BBC has detailed how it plans to make £150 million worth of savings in order to address a shortfall in funding identified earlier this year. The shortfall has arisen because more people are using non-traditional methods of watching BBC content, which are not covered by the TV license.
BBC has said it must identify a further £550 million of savings by 2021/22, meaning the closure and reduction of services.
£50 million will be saved by restructuring the BBC and cutting 1,000 posts by 2017. This includes from reducing back office and professional support services, and reducing management layers in content areas. The technology and digital divisions are to merge and changes will be made to expenses.
The BBC’s TV sports right budget will also be significantly affected, and faces a cut of £35 million. The Corporation has already lost the Open Golf rights, and although it has recently secured Wimbledon and Premier League highlights among others, it admits that existing sporting events will go.
A further £12 million will come from the BBC’s TV budget. Drama will be protected, but factual, comedy and entertainment will be reduced. Savings made by The Voice, recently bought by ITV for a reported £33 million, say the BBC, be used to develop new, home-grown formats.
£12 million will be cut from BBC online, and a significant £5 million will come from news. This will include efficiency savings from a review of working practices, terms and conditions, and commercial income or cost reductions in BBC Monitoring (a part of BBC World Service which monitors and reports on freely available media sources).
The BBC is ‘exploring a phased exit’ from its interactive Red Button service in order to focus on connected televisions and iPlayer.
Director general Tony Hall said the plans were part of a strategy to create a “simpler, leaner BBC.” He continued: “No director general wants to announce reduced spending on services that the public love. This is very tough, but the BBC’s financial position means there is no alternative.”