BBC "Needs to Be More Distinctive," ITV CEO Says
The U.K. public broadcaster should also "act more as an enabler and a partner to the commercial sector rather than a competitor," Adam Crozier says.
ITV CEO Adam Crozier on Tuesday said the BBC needs to be "more distinctive" and should "act more as an enabler and a partner to the commercial sector rather than a competitor."
The British public broadcaster's future role and duties have been in focus as the government has started the process that will lead to a new charter for the BBC. In a so-called green paper, the government recently outlined key issues to be discussed in the review.
On U.K. TV giant ITV's mid-year earnings call on Tuesday, Crozier was asked about his thoughts on the review. "We think the BBC needs to be more distinctive," he said.
Addressing entertainment shows such as Strictly Come Dancing, which critics have said are too focused on big ratings, the ITV boss said: "Actually, Strictly is an example of the BBC being distinctive. They came up with the idea and they created and marketed it. Actually, they should be doing more of that."
Discussing other key issues, he said: "It’s about appropriate funding for the agreed scope…it’s about better governance and, frankly, a vastly more efficient organization."
Plus, he said, the public broadcaster should treat commercial media companies as partners. "It’s about the BBC learning to act more as an enabler and a partner to the commercial sector rather than a competitor," Crozier said. "And that goes for local newspapers, national newspapers, television and many other markets."
He added: "We don’t think it’s right that the BBC should look to set up a commercial production company that really relies on competing with the indie sector."
Later in the call, Crozier got another question about what the BBC's mandate should be. "The BBC of all parties…should be focusing more of its money on new and original programming, not on constantly rerunning things," he said. "And in truth, their performance on that is broadly in line with the rest of the market, when in fact they should be way in advance of the rest of the market. I think that’s something that needs to be addressed."