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The BBC is set to slash its annual output by 1,000 hours worth of shows to cope with savings requirements that have shot up by some 40 percent to almost half a billion dollars.
In its Annual Plan, published Thursday, the British public service broadcaster revealed that its original projected requirement to find £285 million ($352 million) in savings by 2028 had increased to £400 million ($493 million), adding that there would be an “acceleration” of its savings plans. It pinned the blame on the current freezing of the compulsory license fee “at a time of high inflation and media super-inflation,” together with the fact it is reinvesting £300 million ($371 million) into digital.
The BBC said there would be “difficult choices to come this year,” alongside the already announced cost-saving measures, including the creation of a single, integrated BBC News Channel and shifting a number of World Service TV and radio broadcasts to digital.
“However, we go into the year in a strong financial position,” it added in the plan.
“The BBC’s performance in delivering against its strategic priorities has been outstanding, particularly in such a challenging financial setting and against a backdrop of increased competition,” said under-fire BBC chair Richard Sharp, whose links to the Conservative Party have been the source of contention in recent weeks, with calls for him to step down. “This plan sets out how we will best serve all audiences by making the most of our resources in the coming year.”
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