Tuesday, January 18, 2022

Disappointing isn't the word

For all his bruited business acumen and messaging experience, Tim Davie needs to do more work after his interview on Today to get the horror of the licence fee deal across to the audience. 

Many will be left with the impression of a £285m gap. Let's be clear - that's cumulative, and the gap will be bigger in the first two years. So multiply by six, and you get £1.7bn.  The BBC will have shared with the DCMS its own forecasts, which had shown the need to make £1bn savings even with an inflation-linked deal across the whole six years. Production costs will undoubtedly outstrip CPI.  There may be some windfall savings thanks to Covid (cf C4), but then, the BBC is not immune to electricity price rises. 

To save £2.7bn, the BBC would need to spend £450m less every year for the next six years. That's 9% of its last reported annual income.  During that year, when we saw many hacks leave the building, the BBC made efficiency savings of £272m. 

  • 1145 update: Jake Kanter at The Times has been briefed that the total funding gap is estimated to be £1.5bn over six years. Again, using my farmyard economics, that's an average of £250m a year. Content spend on BBC2 last year was £261m; content spend on BBC Online was £236m. 


1 comment:

  1. I'd pay more attention (some, as opposed to the current none at all) to Davie if he chose to dress better than my bin man. I'm trying to care less than I already do.


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