This month has seen a flurry of activity about public service broadcasting.  The BBC also had its own news.

Here are some of the stories


This report was published on 25th March and in summary the Committee concluded that

‘the Government has left itself with no option on the licence fee, not least because it has failed to put in place the necessary broadband infrastructure that would facilitate other funding mechanisms.’

The key points are:-

  • Infrastructure delays prevent universal online public service broadcasting system
  • Tear-up broadcasting legislation: current law ‘no longer fit for purpose’
  • Call for Government to end damaging speculation about decriminalisation of licence fee
  • Government must engage with how PSBs are funded
  • Call for greater collaboration by PSBs
  • Alternatives to BBC licence fee ruled out for now

The Summary and full report can be found @ and

The BBC has responded to the Report with a fulsome 36 pages and this can be downloaded @


The BBC’s Director-General Tim Davie has unveiled ambitious plans to transform the BBC into a truly UK-wide organisation. Over the next six years the corporation will shift its creative and journalistic centre away from London and move people, power and decision-making across the UK’s nations and regions. By 2027/28 the BBC will be spending at the very least, an extra £700m cumulatively across the UK – generating an additional economic benefit of over £850 million. This will not only dramatically increase opportunities for jobs and training, but improve representation on and off screen.

The full details of this new transformative plan can be accessed


As part of its ongoing cost-cutting drive, the BBC has announced that BBC Four will no longer commission new programmes.  It will become an archive focussed channel alongside remaining the home of performance programmes such as BBC Proms, BBC Musician of the Year and BBC Young Dancer.  It also announced that it is doubling its budget for Music and Arts programming for BBC Two.  This re-focus of BBC Four has met with dismay by some of the public although the changes were documented in their Annual Plan for 2021/22 published 29th March.  Also contained within the Plan is their decision to return BBC Three to a linear channel after only being available online since 2016.   It will be available from 7.00pm to 4am subject to regulatory approval.  The full Annual Plan 2021/22 can be downloaded @


With the BBC’s funding and income under constant pressure it is no surprise that its commercial activities will be ramped up.  In 2019/20, financial returns from the BBC’s largest commercial subsidiary, BBC Studios, totalled £276m, principally via content investment and dividends. Building on that success, BBC Studios  confirmed that it is on track to meet its five year returns commitment of £1.2bn by 2021/22, an increase of 18% on the previous five years, despite a significant impact on this year from the Covid-19 pandemic. Against a backdrop of fierce global competition, BBC Studios has committed to grow this total by a further 30% to a new target of £1.5bn in the five years from 2022/23.  An integral part of this commercial growth is the transfer of Children’s Production to BBC Studios from April 2022.  Patricia Hidalgo Reina, Director of BBC Children’s & Education, says: “Moving children’s production into BBC Studios will safeguard our specialism within a producer of scale, enabling them to continue to make world-class public service content for our UK audiences, and increasing their potential of taking British children’s content to the wider global market.”  BBC Three’s in-house production team will also join BBC Studios in April. More details @

Published On: April 19th, 2021 / 3.3 min read / Views: 186 /


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