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Tony Hall: “No guarantee” that Netflix would serve British culture

"It comes nowhere near matching the BBC"

BBC director general Tony Hall has argued that Netflix could not replace the role played by the corporation in terms of investment and promotion of British content.

In an essay for Parliamentary magazine The HouseLord Hall spoke of “the BBC’s relevance to the lives of the people we serve” as the “single biggest investor in original British content and talent.”

“It’s true that some of the global streamers are now doing more to invest in some British content,” he said. “But it comes nowhere near matching the BBC, and is there any guarantee it will continue? I wouldn’t like to bet on it.”

Hall added that there was “no evidence” the streaming giants would invest in the UK and “no guarantee” that they would make content that “truly resonates with the lives of British audiences.”

He also warned against streamers neglecting British culture in their content. “Cultural influence from across the Atlantic is great if it adds to our choice,” he wrote. “It is less great if it comes at the cost of our own, distinctively British culture.”