BBC DG Lord Hall is on his way to Scotland to brief staff on investment plans for the next financial year. His case may contain a smoke canister and a mirror or two.
Yesterday we got a press release about investment for BBC Wales, headlined thus: "BBC to increase investment in programming for Wales by 50 per cent".
Last year the BBC spent £22.5m on English language programmes made specifically for Wales. The release promises "£8.5m additional new funding" for English language tv - that's an increase of just over 37%. But wait, there's a hope that BBC Wales can bring in an additional £5m of co-production funding - that gets us to 60%. And then, pause again - there's a target of getting half of the new productions from Wales, set to total 130 hours a year, onto the full UK Network or iPlayer - so presumably, someone else elsewhere in the BBC will lose that funding. Putting the £8.5m in context, BBC Wales productions costing a total of £61.7m last year (think Dr Who, Casualty, etc) made it to network last year. Perhaps the BBC Press team can help us hit the 50% calculation of their headline.
And whilst increases are more than useful, hacks might like ask about the other Welsh budget lines. Last year, the BBC spend £20.3m on Welsh TV content for S4C; £40.7m on Radio Wales and Radio Cymru; £1.4m on orchestral performances for Radio 3; and £1.9m on contributions for national radio networks. Are they unchanged ? In May, Director of Wales Rhodri Talfan Davies said he expected to make 2% savings a year, every year to 2022.