Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ring tactics

If you imagine the BBC as a punch bag, today's blow, cutting £150m from a range of budgets, is a light jab. The haymaker comes in spring, when a further £550m has to be found.

The first jab takes out 1,000 jobs by 2017 - and, with staff costs forming the bulk of most budgets, farmyard economics suggests over 3,000 might go in the next round. Might we be heading to a BBC headcount around 15,000 ?

There are winners and losers in today's announcements. The budget for sports rights is to be cut by £35m (around 14% from my estimate of a current annual total of around £250m).  We are being pointed to snooker, darts and even F1 as losers - though, of course, some minority sports might offer much cheaper deals. BBC Online loses £12m, perhaps more, which is some 6% from a budget of £201m in 2014/5.

£12m comes from the overall tv budget - a cut of just 0.5%, on top of the sport losses. News seems also to have got off lightly, with a £5m cut, half of which is being lumped on BBC Monitoring.

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