The BBC should spin off hit exhibits corresponding to Strictly Come Dancing right into a subscription service or threat “staggering” all through the 2030s, the veteran broadcaster Andrew Neil has stated.
Mr Neil warned that the company’s £159 annual licence payment is just too small for it to compete with deep-pocketed American streaming companies.
Appearing earlier than the House of Lords, he as an alternative proposed another mannequin the place public service broadcasting is funded by the taxpayer to pay for information, documentaries, kids’s TV, Radio 3 and 4, arts protection, native radio, some “risky dramas” and main sporting occasions.
Meanwhile, a brand new subscription-style mannequin might bankroll Auntie’s extra business programmes and “ratings winners” like Strictly, whereas handing it the facility to borrow extra money to finance exhibits.
Speaking to the Lords communications committee, Mr Neil stated: “It is definitely fairly exceptional how the BBC has continued to carry out. Not many different public companies have obtained a 30pc reduce in actual phrases and managed to do what they’ve been doing.
“The most snug approach out is to proceed with the licence payment, and I believe that’s what will occur once more. But the BBC is one in all our nice nationwide property and it is usually what defines us to the remainder of the world […] and we’re proper to be pleased with it.
“But you need to have a proper debate about ‘is this the right way to go?'”
Mr Neil, who give up the BBC two years in the past when The Andrew Neil Show grew to become a sufferer of the broadcaster’s price range cuts, added that brief time period disruption could be a worth value paying for stability in the long term.
He stated: “Although it possibly snug [now], on the finish of the road what could beckon […] is that you do not have the money, the resources, the expertise, the structure to survive on this new world of broadcasting, from multi-channel, to streaming to world.
“At least consider it. Because [a new model] may save what is best and create a BBC that can flourish, rather than just stagger year to year in the 2030s.”