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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.

Thursday, 17 September 2015
6:39 PM

Most employees at the BBC are dedicated to their job and the BBC. They are also one of the best payed people in the business. If they all took a 10% pay cut, they would not only save their own job's but a lot of their colleagues too. Hard to take but worth thinking about.

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Paul's 1 post GB flag
Tuesday, 3 November 2015
11:11 PM

I think that perhaps this is the wrong question, I'm asking my self 'What does the BBC stand for? What role does it fulfil? Is it a role that is needed and how should it be funded?'

The BBC states that its mission is "To enrich people's lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain."

and that "The licence fee allows the BBC's UK services to remain free of advertisements and independent of shareholder and political interest."

This has barely changed since its conception almost 100 years ago. There has been a great deal of change since then.

My feeling is that there are vast opportunities for the BBC to remodel its revenue streams. It has a colossal wealth of content dating back the better part of a century. Sell it. In addition to iPlayer, a globally available NetFlix style on-line subscription service would allow Doctor Who fans to watch the original series over and over again. Countless Documentaries, Walking With Dinosaurs, Blue Planet, Pensioners could relive their childhood, binge watch an entire series of Mock The Week, the list is almost endless. And then there's YouTube. YouTube pays content providers for every view that content generates, globally. It is funded by the advertising revenue, so what? Similarly with Radio stations, what's wrong with Spotify model? 'Free' music with adverts or a premium subscription for those that want it. And why limit it to the UK? We generate a tremendous amount of talented musicians, both classical and contemporary, export, promote and generate income from them.

The BBC World Service - I've never heard or seen it, have you? In the context of the BBC's mission statement "To enrich people's lives with programmes and services that inform, educate and entertain." My question is whose lives? The Licence Fee Payers? I find that very hard to quantify. Is it valuable to Britain's interests? Perhaps, soft power overseas? Perhaps, but should it be paid for as a legal prerequisite to watching Coronation Street? No. It should probably be funded by the Foreign Office.

I also question the emphasis on 'Entertain'. Do we need the BBC to do that? Given the vast array of alternatives now available, is it in our interest to subsidise the BBC to buy 'The Voice' from an external production company? If we didn't do that it seems highly likely to me that ITV would pick it up.

Similarly with sport. Personally I was very happy with ITV's coverage of the Rugby World Cup, if not the actual result.

The fact that the BBC is subsidised in such a massive way must be crippling to existing competitors and prohibitive to market entry for new ones.

The BBC presents the argument that it must be maintained at at least its current size and scope but it does so out of self interest, not Public interest. My view is that a core of English Language News and Weather and Educational/Children's programming that is either not available from competitors or is vulnerable to "shareholder and political interest" should be universally available and funded by the Licence Fee but everything else should be self financing. If that means the rest of the BBC's out-put is only available on-line and though Sky because it's a subscription based service that needs policing I can live with that.

I don't have to buy a newspaper for everyone else before I can buy my own, I don't have to buy a CD or DVD for everyone else before I can can get the one I want, I don't have to pay for everyone in the cinema queue before I buy my own ticket. Why should I pay for everyone else to watch something on TV before I can watch what I want when they can get somewhere else with advertising or a subscription?

Content distribution has been revolutionised by the Internet. 'Live' broadcasting of pre-recorded content is dying fast and, in it's own interests, the BBC needs to get with the times.

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RichardW's 8 posts GB flag
Friday, 6 November 2015
Mark A.

7:18 PM

BBC licence fee to be index-linked from 2017, confirmed by corporation.

Will the licence fee be cut? The BBC licence fee will rise in line with inflation, Corporation confirms

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Mark A.'s 374 posts GB flag
Sunday, 8 November 2015
9:32 AM

Personally I don't see how they can guarantee a CPI increase on the license fee when the whole future of the BBC is currently under active debate.

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Dave's 19 posts US flag
Monday, 9 November 2015

10:08 PM

Dave: The CPI increase was supposedly part of the agreement that Osborne agreed with the BBC last year. Of course CPI is actually a smaller amount than RPI, so its not exactly generous. The BBC is possibly doing two things by announcing this. A) They are going by the agreement last year, and are showing that they are being good about it, respecting the deal, etc. If the government welches on the deal, they can say they accepted the deal in good faith, and made plans accordingly. The ball is in the governments court.

B) By announcing the figure, they make it 'offical'. Any change by Whittingdale, etc would look like lying, and the BBC has the moral high ground.

They are right to do this. Whitingdale's remarks on the Radio4 'debate' made it clear that the deal was made by the government with its fingers crossed, which might mean there wasn't any real deal at all, and the BBC got played, having made lots of concessions, which they might have to eat when negotiating the Charter renewal. Its a good idea to pin down what the government promised - it makes it much harder for them to back out.

RichardW - I suspect that your philosophical viewpoint is getting in the way of practicalities.

Firstly, the BBC did try a subscription system via Itunes, but obviously its didn't work very well. You will now be able to buy content from the BBC, such as Dr Who, but firstly, the huge archive is not totally accessable (the system to make it all digital didn't really work and cost a lot of money, as every newspaper pointed out). The BBC does sell a lot of its older content, on VHS, DVD, Blu-Ray and of course to othe channels, both here and abroad. You cannot, however, sell a series to PBS in the States (which they might cofinance) and then expect them to be happy that your selling the digital rights worldwide. What if they want to do that within the US?

Remember that the bulk of people do not stream programmes - in the UK 69% of programming is watched live, and 25% is recorded. In the US its 28%, but that not surprising - its very largely a cable based market, has a large number of channels, often using a subscription model, and so streaming is simply easier. However, even there, 39% of viewing is still done live. Most people in the UK dont stream, or even (in many cases) know how to stream.

'Content distribution has been revolutionised by the Internet. 'Live' broadcasting of pre-recorded content is dying fast and, in it's own interests, the BBC needs to get with the times.'

If its dying, its got a funny way of showing it - over 90% is non streamed. And the idea that we can all just use the net is a bit like we can all 'eat cake' - broadband access and speeds are not universally acceptable, and what if you dont want the net?

The same goes for Spotify, etc - it might possibly be profitable in the UK, but worldwide it loses money.
And while Spotify's playlist is huge, what it largely plays is what you might like. Its not suddenly going to play something totally random or different. Its not going to play a band for the hell of it and give them a big break. Radio 6 Music does, as does the excellent KCRW and KEXP. Both of those US stations are non commercial - one is NPR, whilst the other is community supported. And I bet far more people listen to the radio at any one time than use all the streaming services.

And Spotify premium costs a tenner a month. Thats fine, but BBC radio doesn't have ads either, and you'll get everything (including radio) for £145.50 a year. The BBC does support the sort of music which the commercial stations will not, as well as the Proms, etc. Without the BBC, would UK music be so rich?

'The BBC World Service - I've never heard or seen it, have you?' Are you joking? The World Service is the jewel in the crown of the BBC, and a fantastic resource. Its also one of the best forms of 'soft power' the UK has - its trusted the world over. Yes, the Russian/China/Swahili service is of little use to us in the UK directly, but blame the government for the switch to being paid by the licence fee. A decent chunk of the running costs used to be paid by the Foriegn Office, until Jeremy Hunt put a gun to the BBC's head 5 years ago.

If you wanted to listen to it on FM, you had to wait until Radio 4 had gone off air in the night (I used to listen to it when my kids were babies, since it would keep me awake when they were), but thanks to DAB and the net, its now available 24 hours a day. A great way to find out whats inportant in the world, and not just the Westminster bubble, and their daily reports on Ebola were facinating. And the TV service stopped my wife and I going mad in the US some years back - watch US news and you'll have little idea what going on beyond America. The World TV Service was a godsend.

People always come up with 'The Voice' when they want the BBC to stop making 'Entertainment'. Any other shows? Frankly, the Voice only caused problems because the BBC paid for the format. Considering the graveyard of shows that have failed on Saturday night on both channels, getting a format which works would seem very sensible (The Generation Game's format was also copied from another country).

Here is the reality - people like the Voice, and since they pay their licence fee, they are entitled to watch it. And ITV could have bought the format at the time (they now own the company that owns it). They didn't.

If you want a Saturday night full of high minded culture (that the commercial world does not do), you might want to look at what happened at the LWT franchise in 1968. They started out with stuff like a drama from Jean-Luc Godard, a tribute to Jacques Brel, a programme about Kurt Weill and a musical drama by Stravinsky. Nobody wanted to watch the channel, and other franchises refused to show their programmes - the BBC had a field day. LWT did not recover for years.

Everyone pays for the BBC, and everyone gets something that they might like. And as for the likes of Strictly - if anyone had pitched a contest about ballroom dancing to ITV, would they have gone for it? Sky? Now its a blockbuster. The BBC hopefully makes 'the good popular and the popular good'. If someone can supply a list of a nights viewing that fits their highbrow ambitions, which does not impinge on any commercial broadcaster, and people might like to actually watch, let us know. I suspect that the Sun would immediately denounce it for being elitist and boring.

I'm not a sports fan, but many are. The BBC is realistic about what it can afford, and if ITV/C4 wants to show sport, good luck to it. That does not means that the BBC cannot show sport either.

The idea of the BBC being subsidised and therefore crowding out the market is one beloved of certain newspapers and commentators, but there is little evidence of it. ITV and C5 (and of course Sky) all had increased profits this year, so they are not missing out financially. All three have no BBC competition with regards to advertising revenue, and although they could argue that they might get more viewers without BBC competition, they would also lose out on the talent that the BBC nurtures, which they then take advantage of. And besides - thanks to PVR's and catchup, why not watch more than one thing? Its not a zero sum game anymore.

And although Sky would love the BBC to be a basic PBS style service, it certainly would not be in favour of the BBC becoming a subscription service, any more than ITV would like it if the BBC accepted advertising. They should be careful what they wish for.

As an ecosystem, it works. Its certainly isn't crippling the market - there are 70 plus channels out there. And many of them bascially recycle old BBC content anyway. If someone wants to launch a station showing high quality UK all original drama and documentaries, I'm for it - but I suspect the reason why they dont is thats its not profitable.

I have no intention of letting Sky anywhere near me, and why should I have to stream, when I have no need? Its not broke (unless you are possibly one of the 3%), and there is no need to fix it. As for the idea of 'choice', 'freedum', or whatever - tough. As someone commented the other day online in answer to this idea - 'I'm not getting any use from Trident at the moment, so I'll let someone else pay for it'. That arguement is not going to work with the Inland Revenue, and since 97% of licence fee payers use the BBC in any one week, it pretty much doesn't work with regard to the licence fee either.

What depresses me is that same derp comes up again and again. Its fine to have a philosophocal viewpoint, but the vast majority (90% or more) of licence fee payers are happy with it or would pay more, judging by the recent 'BBC deprivation test'. 'Choice' sound atrractive, but the reality of such changes to allow such choice is actually less choice, less quality and higher prices.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
MikeB's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Wednesday, 18 November 2015
Steve J
1:00 PM

Well I was able to cut over 840 million, Radio 1, 2, 3, Shut as everyone listens to commercial Radio, for the same reason Scrap BBC TV 3, & 4, News and Parliament, Regional and local Radio, never meet anyone who listens to it, same for World service, Local TV costs a lot, and very few people can get it.
BBC should concentrate on Radio 4 & Sports, As Commercial TV & Radio provides all the other services without cost to the Tax Payers.

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Steve J's 2 posts GB flag

5:17 PM

Steve J: I rather suspect that you are assuming that what you do is what everyone does, a common misunderstanding. That's why I listed the "reach" - the number of weekly users - for each service. If you've never met people who use these services then perhaps you need to consider who - for example - the 6,100,000 people who listen to local radio in England are (they're probably pensioners in this case). Radio 2 might not be my cup of tea either but 15.1m listen to it, a whole quarter of the UK. The "never meet anyone who listens to it" World Service has 210,000,000 people who listen to it.

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Briantist's 38,908 posts US flag
Wednesday, 30 March 2016
Toni B
11:49 AM

Having watched BBC outside broadcasting and internal studio broadcasting admittedly some years ago it amazed me how many staff are involved in preparing and producing BBC programmes. This often includes provision of full back-up catering facilities, yes the steak barms are very nice - thanks; but for only a few seconds or at the most a few minutes of air-time does seem excessive when other local facilities exist. Unfortunately and I do mean that sentiment I do believe staffing is still an issue, but so is the lack of ability to generate income, e.g. from limiteed advertising perhaps set up solely in between programmes, rather tha during programme transmission would be a useful source when income must be generated to fund develo;pments. Worth considering rather than losing the benefits but I did save more thahj required by svagely cutting additional channels both radio and TV to those long-established as the basic ones.

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Toni B's 20 posts GB flag

4:04 PM

But if you look at an ITV/ITN - C4 outside broadcast crew, they are about the same size. In fact if a drama is being made, there is a good chance that it might be made for ITV, C4 or the BBC by another production company, in which case they have no reason to employ any more than they have to - it comes out of the production companies margin.

Basically, it takes what it takes to make a TV programme. In fact it could be argued that the BBC is a little less lavish than some, but thanks to the audience noticing and commenting very quickly if production values, etc are not up to snuff (if only due to HD), you have to get the right people and do it properly. Just look at something like 'Strictly' - you don't think that a costume designer is important on that show until you see what they have to do.

I remember both TVS and Teddington Studio's both being fairly basic, one of which was an BBC production (at least the programme was going out on BBC). As for outside catering, thats fairly standard. If your doing a drama, there are union/industry rules for breaks and catering provision. And if you've got a hundred plus people on location, expecting the local sandwich shop or chippie to provide food etc as a one off with no real warning is asking for trouble - an army marches on its stomach.

I was talking to someone not long ago who I know regularly does extra work (which I've done once or twice). She was on 'The Great Fire of London' last year, and said that most of the money was spent on the set, which was amazing. The catering was less wonderful, and the toilets a bit basic!

As for advertising - the BBC simply isn't going to do it, if only because it would bankrupt any number of commercial channels.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Saturday, 7 May 2016
Phil Francom
6:06 PM

I think BBC should be sold to a private company that will it done some advert on it and it will be better for all us and be free for all then because all it on the BBC is lot of rubbish from a trash can

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Phil Francom's 2 posts GB flag
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