Pact warns BBC against programming cuts

Pact has warned British public broadcaster the BBC against cutting its programming budget following the news yesterday that it will have its license fee frozen for six years.

The UK producers’ trade body has welcomed the government’s decision to maintain the current license fee, which is £145.50 (US$227) per annum, until 2017, but fears that there will not be enough money to fund additional services such as the BBC World Service and Welsh broadcaster S4C.

The corporation was forced to accept a number of additional burdens on its resources, which means that it will  be forced to take a cut of about 16% in licence fee funding in real terms in the run-up to its Charter renewal in 2017, as well as to take on additional commitments amounting to £340 million.

“The BBC should therefore look at all other areas before it considers cuts in the programming budget as there is a real danger that the license fee payer will be paying the same but getting less,” said Pact chief executive John McVay. “Pact will be seeking urgent talks with BBC management to understand better how they plan to meet their new commitments.”

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