Published On: Tue, Nov 5th, 2019

BBC risks being eradicated unless it adapts – Bitter assessment of 'frankly awful' Beeb


The BBC has come under fire in recent weeks, most recently by a scathing attack by Ofcom who have demanded urgent action. The House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee has published a report which warns public service broadcasters, like the BBC, need to be better supported, but also “adapt to ensure that they serve and reflect all audiences”. The report warns if broadcasters are to continue, they “must remain financially viable” while adapting to a younger audience, which risks undermining support for the licence fee.

In the report, during a roundtable discussion with residents of Glasgow at the University of Strathclyde, one student was very critical of the BBC.

The student described the BBC’s programmes for young people as “frankly awful” and a poor attempt to emulate YouTube.

The report read: “They said that the BBC had become a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’. Another agreed.

“However, the students enjoyed watching programmes originally shown on the BBC, such as Louis Theroux documentaries and Bodyguard, on Netflix.”

BBC's Tony Hall

The BBC was attacked in the House of Lords report (Image: GETTY)

House of Lords

House of Lords report demanded urgent action (Image: GETTY)

The report added: “Some students recognised their provenance but said that Netflix had gathered some of the best BBC content in one place and was cheaper than a TV licence.

“There was disagreement about the legitimacy of the licence fee.”

In the report, it warns “if public service broadcasters are to continue to serve us and to afford to make world-class programmes, they must remain financially viable”.

It added: “In our view, PSBs, especially the BBC, should not be given further responsibilities without a corresponding rise in income.

READ MORE: BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg confronts Jo Swinson on ‘disregarding’ Britons

Tony Hall

A student described the BBC’s programmes for young people as ‘frankly awful’ (Image: GETTY)

They said that the BBC had become a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’. Another agreed

House of Lords report

“We are concerned that the integrity of the licence fee as the guarantor of the BBC’s financial independence has been undermined. In particular, the Government should not have asked the BBC to accept responsibility for over- 75s’ licences, nor should the BBC have agreed to take it on.

“A new, independent and transparent process for setting the licence fee is necessary. We recommend the establishment of a new body called the BBC Funding Commission, which should be in place in 2021 in time for the next round of licence fee negotiations.”

The report also warns they are “concerned that the integrity of the licence fee has been undermined” by a “succession of settlements which were carried out in secret and which have tended to disadvantage the BBC”.

The report said the “decision on whether to provide free licences to the over-75s is a matter of welfare policy”.

DON’T MISS: 
BBC News’ Dan Walker loses it with Starmer over ‘uncomfortable’ plan [LATEST]
Emily Maitlis shutdown as she is corrected during Newsnight [VIDEO]
Dan Walker: ‘Bit cruel’ BBC Breakfast host blasts bias claims [INSIGHT]

BBC

BBC told they had had become a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’ (Image: GETTY)

Netflix

Giant US company now a major competitor for the BBC (Image: GETTY)

It adds: “The BBC should not have been asked to take on this decision, and the BBC should not have accepted it.

“Responsibility for licences for over-75s should be off the table in future licence fee negotiations.”

Commenting on the report, Chairman of the Committee Lord Gilbert of Panteg, said: “For many people, especially young people, watching TV in real-time is now the exception rather than the norm.

“While the arrival of SVODs has created exciting opportunities for the creative sector and for audiences, particularly in drama, we are concerned by the unpredictability of future developments.

“PSBs provide a stable investment platform for a diverse range of content, made for UK audiences, and freely available on a reliable over the air platform.

“At a time of polarisation, public service broadcasters play a role in unifying the country through shared experiences.

“Our recommendations will ensure that public service broadcasters are able to continue to serve us and afford to make world-class programmes. If we fail to support our public service broadcasters, audiences would miss them when they’re gone.”

It comes just weeks after a scathing report by Ofcom which found the BBC is “reputationally damaged” and is seen as too “London-centric”.

The Ofcom report said if there was not “transparent signs of progress” at the BBC then the regulatory and competition authority would “step in and place additional conditions on the BBC”.

In the review of BBC News and current affairs, launched in March, Ofcom said the channel is seen by some as “representing a white, middle-class and London-centric point of view that is not relevant to their lives”.

The BBC has also been warned it may not be sustainable in its current form if it fails to regain younger audiences, Ofcom said in its second annual report on the company.

A BBC spokesperson said: “We welcome this timely report which strongly supports the continuing and essential role of the BBC and other UK PSBs, and the central role of the Licence Fee in providing a vital source of finance for UK content production.

“We also agree with the Committee on the need for a proper process and transparency around the next licence fee settlement, and for the BBC to be able to innovate speedily in a fast-moving media market”.



Source link

Videos

Most Popular Posts