Thursday, December 24, 2015

Green light

The Ofcom review of the loose proposal to establish BBC Studios as a commercial subsidiary is largely positive - and largely a guess, with no new research.

One precis is that the £400m a year business is ok by them, because it won't do very well...

Given the level of returning series likely to be retained by BBC Studios, as well as the volume of returning series broadcasted by other broadcasters, and evidence from the WOCC [Window of Creative Competition] that suggests BBC in-house production is currently less effective than other producers at developing and selling new series, we consider the relative scale of any market impacts in the short term is likely to be limited overall.  

We also note that there is an asymmetry between the revenue that BBC Studios could win in the wider marketplace and the more limited revenue that would be made available to independent producers by reducing the BBC in-house production guarantee.

The Ofcom report also covers the impacts of "scaling back" BBC production in general, at the request of Whittingdale, J and comes to no real conclusion either way, unsurprisingly, given that the Culture Secretary gave no particular targets. The Online teams may take comfort from this paragraph...

The BBC’s spend on the provision of online content and services is relatively small compared to the rest of the sector. Even though the BBC currently spends most of its online spend in-house, scaling back its capabilities would likely only have a limited impact on the market and there would therefore only be modest additional opportunities for online independent producers.

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