Mark Thompson: Licence Fee settlement means less original programming
Mark Thompson, the director general of the BBC, has admitted that the recent licence fee settlement will mean fewer hours of original programming but insists those produced will be to a “higher quality“.
Mark Thompson, the director general of the BBC, has admitted that the recent licence fee settlement will mean fewer hours of original programming but insists those produced will be to a “higher quality”. The recent settlement between the BBC and the Con-Dem government means that the licence fee will be frozen for six years meaning in real terms – because of inflation – the BBC will get less money over the course of the next six years. As part of the agreement the corporation will also take over the funding of the World Service and the Welsh language broadcaster, S4C.
In an interview on BBC One’s Andrew Marr show Thompson discussed the licence fee settlement calling it “a tough but a good settlement” Thompson also admitted that there would be fewer hours of original programming across the BBC because of the licence fee settlement. Thompson told Andrew Marr the BBC could:
“Deliver services of what I hope will be higher quality than we deliver at the moment to the public within this framework. Sometimes it means doing fewer things better, raising standards. Perhaps instead of doing three documentaries, you do two but you spend more money on them and you make sure they’re higher quality.” – Mark Thompson on Andrew Marr
When the licence fee settlement was announced the National Union of Journalists criticised the BBC for not fighting the government. The decision to make the BBC fund the Welsh language broadcaster S4C has also been widely criticised with some questioning why English payers should fund a service they are unable to appreciate. However, there was some discussion before the settlement of making the BBC take on the cost of the free licence fee awarded to the over 75’s. If the BBC had taken on funding for that the entire cost would have been bigger to the corporation than the yearly budget for BBC Two!