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How would you cut £613m from the BBC budget?

UK Free TV is making it possible for you to decide what to cut and what to keep. Use the tick boxes to select what you would cut from the BBC budget, and see your progress in the bar below. Please share!!!

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Broadband rollout "topsliced" to BT£150.0m-
BBC One£1,433.6m45.3m
BBC Two£533.4m32.0m
BBC Three (online only)£20.0m-
BBC Four£63.1m10.6m
BBC Four£63.1m10.6m
BBC ALBA£9.0m-
BBC News channel£63.0m8.8m
BBC Parliament£10.1m0.7m
BBC Radio 1£54.3m-
BBC Radio 2£60.4m-
BBC Radio 3£55.1m-
BBC Radio 4£115.7m-
BBC Radio 5 Live£66.1m-
BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra£5.7m-
BBC 1Xtra£11.1m-
BBC 6Music£12.5m-
BBC 4 Extra£7.5m-
BBC Asian Network£10.7m-
BBC Local Radio (England)£153.8m-
BBC Radio Scotland£31.4m-
BBC Radio nan Gaidheal£6.0m-
BBC Radio Wales£19.9m-
BBC Radio Cymru£18.3m-
BBC Radio Ulster/BBC Radio Foyle£24.0m-
BBC Online, iPlayer (and Red Button)£201.0m-
Orchestras and performing groups£32.5m-
S4C (inc direct funding)£107.0m0.6m
Development spend£82.8m-
BBC World Service operating licence£253.6m-
Licence fee collection costs£110.3m-
PSB Group pension deficit reduction payment£376.8m-
Costs incurred to generate intra-group income£170.2m-
Costs incurred to generate third-party income£133.4m-
Restructuring costs£8.4m-
Digital switchover (DSHS Limited)£0.4m-
Local TV£2.9m-

Notes: this page is based on the figures in the BBC Full Financial Statements 2014/15, less the change of BBC Three from £114.2m TV to £20m online service. Full Financial Statements also shows the current number of governement-funded 'Over 75s' licences - 4,215,808 - giving the eventual shortfall of £613.4m. BBC Worldwide/BBC America profit of £109m to BBC 'PSB Group' and one-off £78.6m for 'lease reclassification' also not shown. The 'Reach' is the number of people tuning into the service each week, from BARB Viewing Summary and RAJAR Quarterly Listening.

Sunday, 23 August 2015

4:04 PM

If you can't see this, go to How would you cut £613 from the BBC budget?.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts US flag

4:12 PM

Could properly save more if they paid there stars what they where worth.

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Mazbar's 384 posts GB flag

4:20 PM

Mazbar: That's strange, given " The BBC's total budget for all its presenters, actors and performers - from Gary Lineker to the extras on EastEnders - is £188m a year.". If they didn't pay any of these people you'd still be £425.4m to find. I don't think your maths is up to much...

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Briantist's 38,915 posts US flag
A. Hughes
5:07 PM

The ones I have ticked do not mean to cut broadcasting. I believe some channels could combine.
What does not seem to be shown is staff salaries and the amount paid for certain celebrities/programmes, not mentioning bonuses.
If you combine you do not need two heads of programming , their secretaries etc.
I believe an independent body should look at salary structure and payment to celebrities and certain programmes and ask is this benefiting the BBC and its watchers.
The world service should also have English language lessons and local language lessons.

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A. Hughes's 3 posts GB flag

5:40 PM

The ones it ticked where broadband rollout, alba, parliament,1 extra,4 extra, Asian network, radio nan gaidheal, Cymru, s4c, world service, orchestra & performing groups. That is a saving of £613 million. Cutting the wages could save some of these services. Also when you tick and post it should register what people have chosen to get rid of.

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Mazbar's 384 posts GB flag
7:27 PM

First thing to cut is the silly idea that two news readers or presenters are needed , each reading a few lines form the auto cue and then doing a side smile at the other till their lines come up ! The local news ( Look East) is dreadful, it's half an hour of local stuff and there are far too many reporters and presenters, half the time the presnters chat to each other and then remember we are there !

Also what do the army of people do ? in what used to be hidden behind the screens but now are in full view back stage, screens, posh chairs and desks by the dozen. Some chat , some collect their bag and go home. Are they needed?

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Mal's 5 posts GB flag

8:33 PM

Mal: You think they can cut £613m that way? You ask "Also what do the army of people do ? " The ones I have met in the past are out there checking facts, recording interviews, editing the packages together, creating the webpages, lining up guests, sorting out security, doing the books, and of course the usual day-to-day management of a news-gathering system. All to make it look like a couple of people reading an autocue!

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Briantist's 38,915 posts US flag

8:37 PM

Mazbar: An interesting selection. I see you've chosen to scape the £253.6m World Service... it's hard to understand how that is a great benefit to the UK though "soft power", isn't it?

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Briantist's 38,915 posts US flag

8:46 PM

I guess I have to choose too, so I'm going for Broadband rollout "topsliced" to BT (as the obvious choice), BBC News channel (online news is better and more important), BBC Radio 3 (very low reach, expensive), S4C (very low viewers, very expensive), BBC Local Radio England (to placate the local press), BBC Radio Scotland (expensive)., BBC Radio Wales (very expensive), Orchestras and performing groups (sorry, but Radio 3 has gone). I've left BBC Radio Cymru to fill the S4C gap.This preserves the rolling news radio station and online, and also the cheap niche services BBC ALBA and Asian Network.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts US flag

10:22 PM

Brianist: Thats a tough list, and I dont envy the people taking the final decisons. The BBC does things nobody else does (who else is going to do Big Blue Live and Worlds Busiest Railway over a week?), and we need to remember that this shortfall isn't the fault of the BBC, but rather the government for having frozen the licence fee for the past five years, plus heaped lots of extra costs on them. That money is not far off one sixth of the total BBC income, and comes on top of lots of other cuts over the past number of years.

The notion that large amounts can be saved by getting rid of an extra newsreader, paying onscreen talent less (the BBC already pays rather less than the market rate) or sacking some managers isn't supported by the facts. In fact a recent report by a City accountancy firm reckoned the BBC was very well run when judged against the rest of the public sector.

Nor should we engage in 'I dont use it'ism. We all pay the licence fee, and there is no reason why a 55 year old man who listens to Radio 2 and 5 Live, watches Question of Sport, F1 and that programme about classic cars on BBC4 should get what he wants, yet a 26 year old Asian female who listens to the Asian network and Radio 1Xtra, enjoys BBC3 and likes Strictly should lose out.

Chris Bryant has complained about the sort of language used on the DCMS blog on consulatation about the BBC's future (subtle its not). The BBC can point to a lot of the smaller and more niche things its does as proof that its not just aping the market, but does stuff that the market never touches. The problem is that these are small enough to be in the firing line, or are services like local radio, which is expensive but isn't listened to by a vast number of people, yet will be vocally defended, and denounced by the (self serving) press.

OK, some things are no brainers. The broadband rollout was always a disgrace, since central governemnt should have picked up the tab. Thats £150m. I've long argued that S4C makes no sense. Its most popuar programme (Y SIOE 2015) in the last week in July got just 62,000 viewers, with a repeat getting just 22,000. And a fair number of the programmes in that 20 are made by BBC Wales. Thats £107m.

To that digital roll out costs (its been 3 years, whats left to do?) and the £2.9m for Local TV, which was a stupid vanity project by Jeremy Hunt, and should be left to sink or swim. Thats a total of £260.3m, which leaves £354m to find! You havn't mentioned LW, but in 2011 it had just 90,000 listeners, and I seem to remember that the cost then was £5m a year. That cost per listner will have gone up since then, so it has to go, even if the equipment is still hanging on. Thats £349m.

And then its gets really hard. The bulk of the niche channels and radio stations dont actually cost that much, and are exactly the sort of thing the BBC should be doing. Like petit fours, you need a lot of them to make a difference. Radio Cymru and nan Gaidheal are hard to justify, considering their small number of listeners (is there even one for the latter?), but I understand their role, just as Alba provides a service. Can these service be helped out by the national governments, thus laying off some of the costs? Perhaps the same for Radio Scotland. BBC Local Radio is going to be radically slimmed down, plus the regional programming - I know the local TV is costly, and the regions dont quite make sense - too big to be local, and too expensive to make truely local. I think you suggested a figure of £700m odd for the TV regions, so slashing £300 from both the radio and TV could be done. Perhaps then Radio 1 and Radio 5 Xtra to make the total. Or just Radio 3, which is costly and with a tiny audience. Or perhaps all 3.

But its going to be brutal. Everyone is going to depend the service they love, and there will be fallout. The nats are going to hate all the cuts to their natiional programming, and the press are going to make hay. Politcians and commentators are going to denounce every cut, whilst insisting the BBC saves money. Its the same with NHS hospital closures - effectiveness and cost savings mean that every MP knows some places have to close in principle, but when its comes to their local A & E (no matter how woeful it has become), they will fight tooth and nail to save it.

Of course that shortfall depends on whether there is a realterms rise in income from an increased licence fee, and whether the over 75's costs can be controlled. For instance, people should have to apply for exemption, rather than it being automatic. That might put off some people who frankly dont need it.

Personally, the best thing they could do is threaten to close BBC Parliament. No MP is going to want the only channel all about them to close!

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
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