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The Government’s White Paper on its vision for the broadcasting sector was introduced to Parliament on 28th April 2022.   Whilst eagerly awaited, its content was always going to be controversial.  The two most contentious issues are its intention to carry out a review of the licence fee funding model ahead of the next Charter period and pursue a change of ownership of Channel 4.  The full contents of the White Paper can be accessed @ https://bit.ly/3sHw7Zk

 Here is the  BBC’s official response to the White Paper

  “We welcome the steps to secure the ongoing success of public service broadcasters, including the increased and improved prominence of our services on TVs and platforms.“We also look forward to engaging with the Government on both the forthcoming mid-term review and then the national debate on the next Charter.“The White Paper recognises the BBC’s critical role in supporting the UK creative sector and we remain focused on delivering great value for all licence fee payers and representing the UK to audiences around the world.”

 Channel 4’s initial official response was

“Channel 4 will study the White Paper issued by DCMS, and a considered response will follow. However, Channel 4 remains committed to upholding and maximising its remit and public service purpose that has enabled it to shape Britain’s creative culture and make a significant contribution to the creative industries, while also investing across the UK’s Nations and Regions to create local and regional economic and social benefit.”

Two days before the publication of the White Paper (26th April) the BBC decided to publish its plans to support levelling-up across the UK.  Tim Davie, Director General BBC, stated

“We have the privilege of a public funding model, which means we must deliver great value for all and we must reflect the views and perspectives of everyone, whoever and wherever they are. “We also have a duty and responsibility to ensure that the social, cultural, and economic benefits of the BBC are felt in every community, in every corner of our nations and regions.”

The full report ‘Levelling Up and the BBC’ can be accessed @ https://www.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/documents/levelling-up-and-the-bbc.pdf

Something which seems to have been ignored by the general media is the publication of the BBC’s Annual Report for 2022/23.   Richard Sharp, BBC Chairman says

“This Annual Plan shows the need for truthful, independent news and uniquely British content, is needed more than ever.  Our plan highlights the challenges and opportunities in the media market. We will continue driving changes to our public service and commercial operations to fulfil our duty.”

Tim Davie, BBC Director-General, adds: “The BBC is performing an indispensable role delivering impartial news around the world, with 456m people using our services globally every week and growing.  This Annual Plan shows significant progress has been made to reform the BBC, but we will continue to transform the organisation to provide value for all audiences in the digital age.”  

The full BBC Annual Report can be accessed @ https://www.bbc.co.uk/aboutthebbc/documents/bbc-annual-plan-2022-2023.pdf

The world of broadcasting has forever been changed by the introduction of video streaming.  The business model for commercial TV companies has been turned on its head by the introduction of subscription-led VOD.  One of the arguments made by Nadine Dorries, SOS for DCMS for the privatisation of Channel 4 was that it could not compete with these global companies under its current business model.  It is ironic then that Netflix, one of the first ‘streamers’ to appear in the UK recently announced that it was losing subscribers due to the cost of living crisis.

Read more about this @ https://www.theguardian.com/media/2022/apr/20/why-is-netflix-losing-so-many-subscribers-and-what-can-it-do-about-it

A more detailed analysis of this problem can be accessed @ https://screenrant.com/why-is-netflix-losing-subscribers/

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