BBC backlash: Viewers drop broadcaster for funding ‘nonsense’ shows – Even after cutbacks

BBC's scrapping of channels discussed by commentator

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The BBC has moved to cope with inflation and a licence fee freeze by axing 1,000 jobs and shutting down two television channels in a raft of radical measures. The Spectator columnist Annabel Denham said the BBC’s decision to move BBC 4 and CBBC online was too little, too late. She told Mike Graham on TalkTV the BBC licence fee should be “scrapped altogether,” adding it “cannot be justified in 21st century Britain”.

Ms Denham said: “The BBC is trying to deal with the freeze in the licence fee, which has been frozen for two years at £159 a year.

“What the BBC is trying to do here is appeal to a younger audience.

“It has tried this with a series of woke initiatives and also moving from linear television to online.

“But the BBC is struggling against the competition.”

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She also criticised the programming decisions made at the BBC, saying: “The BBC is not driven by consumer demand.

“It is driven by what the BBC thinks we ought to watch, not what we want to watch.

“And that is being reflected in the viewing figures among younger audiences, which is losing.”

Mr Graham remarked that many of the shows on-air were “nonsense” and that the BBC decision to merge channels may “open up a can of worms” for the broadcaster.

The BBC’s restructuring, which could save £200million annually, is a move towards “digital-first” programming.

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Among the decisions, the BBC’s two rolling news channels, BBC World News and BBC News Channel, will be merged.

The broadcaster will also axe about 1,000 jobs – roughly 6 percent of its total number of employees.

The budget for original programming will also be cut by a whopping 200 hours.


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However, the BBC desperately needs to plug a £1.4billion financial blockhole over the next five years.

This comes as Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries imposed a two-year freeze on the licence fee, while production costs are rising.

Speaking to Parliament last week, Ms Dorries said a consultation about the future funding of the broadcaster would begin imminently.

In May, Brexit minister Jacob-Rees Mogg said: “I’ve thought for some time that the licence fee is a comfort blanket for the BBC that is ultimately suffocating it.

“The licence fee is currently a large amount of money but it is a declining and wasting asset and the BBC should be thinking for itself about how it’s more innovative and more entrepreneurial.

“If it depends on the licence fee forever, the future of the BBC is pretty bleak in my view. It should come up with its own plans.”

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