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BBC to cut more spending from online and news

The BBC is to save £150 million to address a shortfall in funding identified earlier this year.

Details of the cuts announced today exclude any changes to radio, but they do include £12 million from BBC Online – by focusing on the features which give the greatest impact, and £5 million to come from News.

The shortfall has arisen because as more people use BBC iPlayer, mobiles and other online catch-up, the proportion of households owning a television is falling, while a loophole allows viewers to watch catch-up TV without a licence.

The BBC as welcomed the Government’s commitment to close this loophole, and will continue to urge Ministers to legislate as swiftly as possible.

Full details of the cuts announced today are:

  • £25m will come from reducing back office and professional support services
  • £10m from reducing management layers in content areas
  • £35 million will be saved from the BBC’s TV sports rights budget
  • £12 million will come from the BBC’s TV budget
  • £12 million will be cut from BBC Online
  • £5 million will come from News
  • £20 million of savings will come from long-term contracts and other costs, due to the current lower levels of inflation
  • The final £16m will come from cross-cutting areas, with cuts to distribution, the Red Button and further online savings.

Director-General Tony Hall said: “The BBC has and is doing everything possible to make sure the impact on the public is minimised. Wherever possible we’re targeting savings by creating a simpler, leaner BBC.

“But cuts to budgets for programmes and services are unavoidable. No Director-General wants to announce reduced spending on services that the public love. This is very tough, but the BBC’s financial position means there is no alternative.”

The £150 million set out today is part of the £700 million overall savings the BBC must find due to the flat licence fee agreed in the summer and the need to fund the transformation the BBC must undertake for the future.

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