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Read this: Who's watching the BBC?

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Who's watching the BBC?…



BBC sounds music radio podcast the media show from BBC Radio 4 BBC published its annual report yesterday and it raises some very big questions for The Corporation above or is it still independent some of the BBC's biggest headaches detail within the report all arise because of government demands and he was actually using BP services anyway, the report reveals many young people are no longer watching Match BBC Television at all then glued by rivals like Netflix who this very afternoon and out there moving into Shepperton studios to make even more of those shows that have budgets the BBC could only dream of the trials questions.

I've got the BBC's director of policy and two big players from the world of TV production you hear from them very shortly before that Jim Waterson the mediators of the garden is also a gym and ask if you take on the BBC's current predicament shortly the first.

I will talk about your Big Scoop from the other week congratulations on it.

This was the story of the neighbours of Boris Johnson

Partner carry Simon's calling the police after overhearing a dispute between the pair Wii on holiday at the time you got the slippers only on the way to the airport to go on holiday when when we publish console I woke got the other end of the plane to find my phone somewhat red hot do you wanna play We stepped off WeMo how are you? I did actually make the flight.

I think my relationship would have ended otherwise tall is through the you're taking through the practicalities and the ethics of how it transpired that you friends with those who made the recording we don't talk about sourcing, but this is not something that came from contacts or this is people who came forward of their own accord and when you heard the recording was your first Instinct publishing be damned.

That's absolutely not where the Guardian we do things properly.

We we had have long discussions about what's in the public interest we publish the bits of it in the public interest we don't publish bits that are not and we did it because it said something about the future probable future Prime Minister the United Kingdom and the fact that police have been called to.

Claims of allowed argument it is flat in South London and it was a simple as that it was clearly in the public interest to do.

So what have you not released the actual tape because we are responsible publishing we do the bits that we feel the appropriate to release was that was that mean was that mean that so you decide what's in the public interest so there's something in the tape that was I going to ask you what you think in the public interest means in that case I'm trying to say why you would with holder take which is clearly got something that use our people would be interested in but you've made a decision.

That is not in the public interest.

So what do you think of public interest is fundamentally the story was that the police have been called to this house and that the tape and the contents of that a somewhat superfluous to that we do things in a slightly more reserved mana than many publications.

We do you think's responsibly and we try and do journalism in a responsible manner and that's why we made the decisions that we did.

What's the legal advice being within the Guardian about the extent to which this was an invasion of privacy when we clearly made the very low after many discussions found that this bit was in the public interest.

Publish not so we decide to do it but other bits of the tape would be an invasion of privacy.

We should be leaving as much as you want that you're not going to get me to call you talks about that was the legal advice that the rest of the tape would have constituted invasion of privacy.

We are not going to go any further be on the same.

We are happy with what we published and We Stand by the decision to do that so you're not going to Lisa tape.

We're not going to release the day after your story came out rival newspapers name the neighbours.

Are you surprised at how quickly will sources routed.

I think I was surprised more than anything by the fact that they rest of the British Media who having with the exception of the Daily Star decided to Splash on it the following the previous Saturday by The Sunday had decided to the number one thing in journalism is to go after sources rather than to go after the story and I think that was somewhat surprising to see how quickly people turned when they realise I was a threat to a politician that they may be back in I think I understand exactly what you're getting out there at the beauties and Report was probably yesterday.

Let's start with that accusation that Giving In to government pressure has given the bee.

See some of its biggest problems the BBC agreed to take on funding free TV licences for the over 75's when it didn't really have the money to do so agreed to publish the salaries including Mine by the way for top earning presenters, which resulted in public anger and a flood of equal pay claims and it lost a new channel 4 Scotland after political pressure that not many people are actually watching the Conservative MP advisor was culture minister at the time many of these decisions were taken and earlier.

I asked him whether he thinks the BBC is still independent certainly the free tv.

Licence was foisted upon the BBC Dire Straits one of my great regrets as a minister that I didn't fight harder to stop it and it's something that I will now try and make amends on now that im backbenchers, but obviously when you negotiate a chat a lot of things come up and there's a bit of giving take in the BBC will ask the staff and the government classed as stuff the Scottish channel was in there so something the UK government was pressing for and I think the

BBC recognise that there was a lot of pressure in Scotland to have something with it as it turns out that was the right thing to do is fossil fuel as we're concerned as a matter for Debate and certainly I think you can argue where the BBC's getting effectively taxpayers money through the licence fee that some political element will come into a Charter of you or some view from the government and certainly on salaries.

I think that was legitimate.

Do you think the BBC caved in at the last thing oceanova charter renewal in 2015 OK to use I think the BBC recognise that there were certain things that we're going to happen anyway, and that was certainly a 3-day recognise that with the free tv licence and I think to give credit to Coney Hall and his team.

They negotiated stuff that they could get in return that included for example.

We forget that the last Labour government perfectly to the Levy to fund broadband.

That's now gone the new one or two other concessions.

We came along the way that would have helped boost the BBC's income someone normal.

They wanted to get rid of so like any good for keto to a certain extent he recognise the writing was on the wall on one issue, but also recognise that he could potentially get some games of uPVC even as he was take your hit see you and I both know that that last charter in your negotiation you mention took place in a politically toxic atmosphere with a lot of enmity between the Conservative Party in the BBC Boris Johnson as just described the BBC is the brexit bashing corporation should the BBC.

Johnson Premiership well? I think it's lazy.

I think it is ill-informed.

I wouldn't necessarily say that under the last government it was a toxic atmosphere.

I think John whittingdale had a reputation for being sceptical about some issues with easy, but I think he's for you change during charter review to assign accent.

I don't want to speak to him.

He's probably jumping up and down there listening to this saying I've already portrayed him, but I do think that you know it's so easy to make these off-the-cuff remarks about the BBC

I will see you know.

What would we do without the BBC imagine a world without the BBC I think we'd all be much worse off so I always do try to defend the BBC it's not perfect but it provides extraordinary cultural capital for this country former culture minister, Ed vaizey.

They're listening from my studio in Salford is Claire Sumner the BBC's director of policy Claire thanks for joining us.

Let me ask you that same question is the BBC independent yes BBC is independent and we're very proud of what we've achieved in the last year so the big picture is the BBC is creatively on excellent form with 184 awards and was very proud of that record now.

I think we should just Mark that a mole before we get into the detail of the settlement the over 75's and an Talent pay, because I think the story the narratives and with all due respect everybody is losing that big picture of the contribution heads just mentioned of the great cultural value that we have to this country or feel very important.

Just let me finish independent news.

Service we provide I go well with you would like to be picture on the show we certainly do it and I know it is has been airing Fearless is as it always is I want to ask about independence which will my first question was about independent but on the other day the government is forcing you to do with these things that you now complain about that very much stone.

Yes, they said cast of BBC's passive recipient of a government that was released the asking to BBC to do things didn't want to do when I think the most important point we've made is that the last two settlements in 2010 and 2015 have been done in a very short period of time 7 to 10 days behind closed doors and no transparency with the public and actually politicians in general and that is just the wrong way to go about things that you started off as soon as independent.

I'm now saying the BBC was forcibly closed source to do things it didn't say you want to do so you can't have it both ways, can you I think it's very important as transparency about the way that you found a global Media organisation with huge impact in the UK and across the world.

I think what the BBC is saying it's part of this debate is that in order if you like to kind of continue to preserve our independence.

We need to look at that again.

We need more transparency and I think actually that in the end.

The BBC is something that everybody should want to preserve.

It's a huge global and UK asset to this country and we should be very proud of that and I think the debate is likely missing the angle at the moment if it was such an unfair God he thinks what's the BBC to take on these free TV licences.

Why did the BBC Greta it again think it's a bit of confusion.

We didn't accept you take on at the free TV licences what we accepted with the fact that we would take on responsibility for the policy and funding the digital economy act in 2017 then passed into law and we had a duty to consult we consulted and again.

I think this is getting lost with over 190000 people and there was a small majority in favour of change and there were of course many strong opinions expressed and many concerns.

What the BBC is done is taking the fairest decision it can for the oldest poorest pensioners and that's why we've introduced the scheme we have but also on behalf of all licence fee payers because if we had just continued with a scheme that would have been over 745 million lbs and rising and that would have meant substantial cuts to BBC services which is not of the interests of anybody over front pages today's.

I'm sure you've noticed because of the total pay in absolute terms to so-called stars.

It's gone up by 11 million by 240 million, so when you look at this in terms of the percentages and get behind the figures out.

We've gone up.

I think about 10% at in terms of the content spend at we spend on our top Talent that sexy less than the 11% last year and well below the 15% target we set ourselves in 2014.

I think part of this debate is also to actually say are we really saying that we don't want any.

Top Talent on a BBC animali you really saying that you shouldn't present at the media show I think we've really got to be very careful about this because actually when you look at our Talent spend with below market rates, and I think even Piers Morgan ignore his that this morning and but also more importantly the nao have said the potentially are presenters good and 47 more times at if they went to work for commercial channels people actually work for eight Below the market rate and I think that it's very important to to say that are audiences really want Top Talent on the BBC so you know that is a really important part of this story wire TV licence sales down for the first time in a decade apart down to how to gracefully and I think it would also be fair to say that you know we reach over 91% of the population weekly and we also very pleased this year that iPlayer has.

3.6 billion requests which is 10% up last year I figured out all day looking good.

I wonder if the real story about the only report is on page 57.

It says they're the percentage of young adults watching BBC TV3 is down shortly a single year episodes.

Yeah.

Yeah, it's listening to BBC Radio audio streaming services is down shop in a single year on BBC Three only 8% of adults watch each week in that flat despite massive investment is it true that the BBC's losing young audiences at an unprecedented rate? I think actually overall BBC services continue to have a very high reach across all of our services are and that's partly I think because of the great programs things like killing Eve things like the World Cup football and that many of us enjoyed to appoint sat last night bring all of those younger audiences including on TV

On audio the going elsewhere BBC3 which is the channel for young people's got some fantastic stuff on it, but it's flat year-on-year factors.

You're using the very people that gonna phone the BBC and future at an extraordinary rate when you look at the overall figures for adults and 16-34 year olds as I said at the beginning that actual reach are is is higher than any other service when you get across all of our services.

I think the point you're making no is an important one because this is why reform of our BBC iPlayer so that we can grow that it is so important and as you know we've been in discussions with the regulator for over a year on that and that's delayed us making further improvements that we want to do for younger audiences, so I think you're absolutely right in my we've got more to do at and we're very focused on that the involvement of BBC as you know radio sounds is going to be critical for that, but let's not forget that we've got some really important services Radio 1 being an example which is reaching out to younger people 2 million a day on YouTube

So we got some really significant things going on for go to make sure if you like we preserve that relationship you're right.

It's faital to a future you've got obligations to the nations and regions that prompted the launch of a Scottish channel at the cost of tens of millions of pounds without any clear evidence that there is demand for the service is the BBC satisfied with how many people are watching that Scottish channel compared to the other channels is very early days, but I think we are pleased with the progress.

It's making of course as ever with these things it will take time to settle in but the initial reactions to it have been good but I close on the thank you very much in teaching.

What do you think was a big story coming out the and report when I think in ab the figures that had pulled out for the peace in the Guardian that are overnight and it is that thing at the end.

We all worried about 1.75 million on Gary Lineker salary, but it a time when you losing large chunks of your youth audience the people who basically you need to keep paying the licence fee in order to make the whole BBC work the BBC only works because it's this crazy cluster.

Of outputs that go from Radio to TV to online and it only works if you can get pretty much everyone in the country to pay for it and the moment you start to see that nibble away at the edges.

I mean if you are a toddler when YouTube was launched in 2005 you now applying to uni which is when you might get your first TV licence and if you've grown up with YouTube and iPlayer only having things available for 30 days and you're wondering really why you ever want to watch anything on live tv.

Then that's the real son of point were reaching when people are going to go right.

I've got my first student house.

Do I want the TV licence and this is the real name where the BBC has to be of say yes, this is what we can offer you a Corsa very attracted to other quite enticing offers from people like Netflix has mention this afternoon Netflix has announced.

It's taking out a long-term lease at Shepperton Studios this is going to set up its first UK production hub.

This is a big move into a creative Industries by the American entertainment company comes at a time when growth in the British Film and Television sectors is much higher than the rest of the economy, and I've got here to big names in the world of drama and

New TV shows Nick Brown is a director of Neal Street Productions Lucas green is head of content at banijay group at Lucas tell us some of the biggest shows that you're responsible for police.

I am also in the UK with produce the Crystal Maze and tipping point we produce shop well for less eat well for less on the BBC we produce a big broad range of game shows entertainment shows documentaries and entertainment shows so what we would class as formats and sometimes it we call it Unscripted or non-fiction, but actually this is still a huge.

I always has been a massive growth areas of British television and continues to be in the face of the drive towards a big drama.

Show is a maze Netflix High Commission Stella some of your great hits.

Can you get pure drama make a we do they call the midwife which is now shipping its ninth series with just delivered Britannia second season of that for Sky informal was on BBC1 last autumn previously that we made penny dreadful for Showtime

Sky polycrown for BBC2 and we also do some occasion movie in Denton Theatre as well, what jumps out to you at the from the any report the BBC any report I mean agree with you.

I think that the the young audience question is is probably the biggest challenge the BBC's facing.

I think that we I know that inform us as I was commissioned as a very Bolsover BBC1 partly because they wanted to shift at dial and I think it did that to an extent but it's only the start I think you need to surround it with old classroom other sorts of programs that come from different voices in different places and Anna as putting different kind of Worlds up on the BBC in this to a large extent of problem with that a solution no Lucas I mean it's very easy relief for me to give a hard time to the beauty director policy the fact is the BBC is now operating in a world with its unprecedented choice there a smartphone to write an extraordinary range of services many the very free money than very very high quality content is not actually necessary that easy to attract young people to say BBC One on BBC Three

Yeah, I mean let's make no bones about it were no content War for the BBC and actually Netflix not just Netflix it's Amazon it's Facebook it's Disney plus are going to launch later this year.

They going to be huge players nbcuniversal.

These are big American iron Studios who are launching massive content platforms and the BBC is still a massive player in this world and we need them to remain you know that to have that strength because for the British TV industry to remain strong.

We need a strong BBC because they are still the biggest commissioner in town and it's a shop window for this content in in terms of young audiences.

You look at shows like fleabag hometown, which is it in festive documentary we made in Huddersfield for BBC3 BBC3 isn't you can't just sit in isolation.

It's it's been a great steam where they put those BBC Three shows on BBC One and if we going to maintain good talent and keep town cost and we need to be growing that Talent and you have to look at podcast and radio and b.

BBC three years as a training academy to grow that Talent so that you can get the big names and a big shows on the main channels.

I think there's also the BBC plays incredibly important role in the whole ecosystem of British television Sony from drama point of view here we develop shows with the BBC you don't develop shows with Netflix you sell shows to Netflix you turn up with a package and you said you want this and they say yes or no and his how much will give you and then it take it.

That's it that the BBC is a much more symbiotic relationship you going with the idea is that there's a whole kind of cultural development and creative experimentation and pushing the boundaries and discussion things that happened the natural really really important for the industry as a whole if we live in a time of hyperinflation recourse of drama the sort of stuff that you make Nick the BBC's going to compete in that game what you can have to give up what's going to do less of I mean that's a question had two big iguana BBC I mean within I think they realise that they are in a different game now in terms of drama.

They know that they can't match budgets per se but they are busy.

Building Alliances and working with you now with people that without including Netflix as co-producers and that the whole economy is kind of shifted and the BBC still hasn't Portal 2 playing that you like this is this is the prom for the BBC on one level it is this hulking beast in the UK that does everything from providing me with BBC Radio York so I can listen to the important.

York City live commentary to providing me with a proper drama that goes out on BBC One and then developing things with Phoebe waller-bridge and all the things in between it even chucked out self reflecting Media shows or we can talk about the BBC on the BBC and Netflix what does Netflix give me Netflix give me 4/8 quid a month two or three shows I'd really like to watch and they can then chucked so much money of them to make sure that was two or three shows I want to watch and that's the issue.

We got to decide like do we want a BBC that does a few things really well or do we want it to be this continuing son of being with that serves everyone's the best civility a look at the most watched TV show of the year so far.

Nobody could have predicted at the start of the Year last night.

It was the women's World Cup 11.7 million viewers the biggest watched show in the UK this year would Netflix or Disney plus put all that money into covering the womb Islam Sunni extremely conscious that we've been talking about five minutes in any credit pro BBC Wade and we got two producers.

Got incentives Debussy doing well and I joined the BBC I mean a lot of people look at the top of front page this morning Lucas would have think one of these people getting paid so much money and I want to get your sense of whether or not you think these top stars or whenever you want to call them are paid too much money and this is an industry of you and I know you got skin in the game in that sense but are people at the top of the BBC your own are people paid too much per household, and he was a lot of money to watch Match of the Day it's a big mainstream show so he said he's a big mainstream star in Absolutely you could earn more money elsewhere, so is it value for money? I would say yes, because the BBC is a shop window for the British TV industry.

It brings in money to the Exchequer every year it's a cultural economy, actually we export huge numbers of TV formats and distribution of movies and documentaries and game shows you go on holiday anywhere in the year and you turn on the TV and you're saying game shows and entertainment shows and movies which are produced in the UK and again and giving their shop window by the BBC so that actually brings revenue into this country and if they can't get the best Talent they won't be able to produce their shows because the light to Facebook app a huge sums of money to their Talents be on their most feared.

I think about telling their do they have you mostly most people wanted bit of entertainment.

Don't think older make sure we can pick competing in a talent marketplace.

No conscious 13 hours at least people punters.

Don't care.

Don't think about Tallington that way they just wanted to tell you don't know would people watch Strictly Come Dancing if it was presented by you Amy probably not almost certainly not Jim what I mean the thing with Gary Lineker salary is it's now causing so much damage the BBC reputation is it's not worth the 1.75 million you might as well.

Find somewhere to get someone else to you because at the moment every year one's here.

We're going to spend a whole week kicking the BBC in the newspapers, but the only way to really sort this out.

It's against take a pay cut when his contract the question is whether he likes another few mate.

I don't want this public scrutiny had rather code get paid even more Elsewhere and the creative Industries here are growing faster than the rest of the economy to quite striking graph actually why is Britain an attractive proposition 3 streaming Giants why are there flooding in with money? I think is a mixture of reasons that we clearly have a fantastic creative history a brilliant production base in terms of behind-the-scenes Talent and the pound is you know what a great place incredibly matters to them and driving as much anything else, but it's brexit that combination is incredibly is incredibly important because brexit helped it by lowering the pound brexit dividend for UK Drama I would never I wouldn't put it like that, but I think it's it is a combination of things and I

The time that you know that's been going on for a little while now, it's not without problems.

It's because chords Hykeham hyperinflation in terms of crew salaries.

There's a massive problem actually accessing stage spaced to actually make anything so you know like anything you any kind of sticky pick up you pick up you know then I sending them and the bad end Lucas do you understand what the beauties trying to do with but I think a lot of sense why I will I'm in one of the things that I picked out in the UN report was that the average number of hours watched of all BBC television per person dropped about 2 hours ITV channel 4 dropped about britbox.

I just go back to me.

It's like a on-demand viewing platform.

So it be like her and Netflix made up of BBC and ITV formats which is to be announced in a big fat content of it yet anyone allowed to be in the BBC to compete with those big American players to safeguard their viewing and in your drama on TV box.

It depends if they pay for it is currently you know call the midwife we have series 126 of calling midwife on Netflix in the UK at the moment so if britbox want that then they'll have to pay for it.

I just to be clear as a consumer that would mean it's very on brick box and Netflix is it I don't I don't know the details of nephropathy and I can't imagine that would be the case now.

Do you want sir gym.how brick box which is this joint venture with HIV how it sits alongside the BBC's strengthening the iPlayer strengthening the iPlayer for people who don't know if that infuriating think the moment you try and watch something and you'll find it's dropped off.

I play after 30 days due to some arcane rule on catch-up services.

That's going to go to a year and then at that point is going to jump to most of his going to jump to brick box we assume where your then pay another five 6 quid a month in order to be able to watch archive personally.

I've got so many subscriptions already that I'm looking to get rid of them rather than add another one and I'm not sure quite how much I need to see some of endless repeats of

Tommy for £5.99 a month for that yes Prime Minister that's what I'd sit around to glucose when you go to Netflix home screen is dominated by one off documentaries and films factory entertainment drama series it's not dominated by the Crystal Maze or University Challenge quiz shows that I lost was on the show about a month ago a bit more.

I asked him how expensive money he didn't mention quiz shows, what would be your pitch to him? I think it will be it's on its way.

They are committing the recommissioning game shows quiz shows because I think what they realise is that those British producers he went to America 10-15 years ago and made shows like wife's open faking it which which we make in the US and in the UK actually per minute.

You can get the same viewing figures as you do for the big sitcoms in the dramas, but it's actually much more cost effective to make it quicker to make its lower risk and adding what Netflix have now realise that some of those big high-end dramas a quite risky passive mixer.

I was actually game shows in the quiz shows can get big figures.

Are you going for your expensive your risk?

You're slow this.

This is exactly what use to get to Ennis about 15 years ago.

Maybe really well when I think when reality shows started and suddenly.

I thought that was going to be the Golden Goose and and drama was all of those things and that came and went.

I mean I think people will always want stories.

You know you can I get to the stretch find a store in a quiz show but it's hard I mean narrative and The Wizard there's a narrative someone's you start of equal there something we agree on this is actually great talent show and everyday and Tim shows all about a story.

It's all about karting the great stories of the people on play the greatest story ever told Jim.

I'm just having to scrape the jargon off me there today BBC once again giving itself a good kicking and everyone else enjoying it on while shouting from the sidelines as baseley been this week that Spacey been a sweet and there we got all to look forward to again next year and on the Show Regular thank you very much indeed to all of our guests that scare someone a director policy the BBC Lucas Green from the banijay group.

And Jim Morrison of the garden without sometime next week.

Thanks for listening and goodbye.


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