Page last updated at 15:01 GMT, Friday, 26 February 2010

At a glance: 'Leaked' BBC review

BBC logo
The Times has revealed details of a review it claims will be published in March

A strategic review proposing wide-ranging changes to the BBC's programming and services appears to have been leaked to The Times newspaper.

The BBC has made no comment about its alleged contents, which detail a number of cost-cutting measures designed to save £600 million.

Here are brief summaries of what The Times says would happen in different areas of the corporation, along with commentary from the BBC's media correspondent Torin Douglas.


If reports are to be believed, the BBC wants to cut the money it spends on buying programmes from overseas from £100m to £75m.

The £25m saved will be given to BBC Two, with another £25m shared among children's programmes, daytime television and overseas reporting.

The BBC wants to put a ceiling - the equivalent of 8.5 per cent of what it gets from licence fee payers - on how much it spends on broadcast sports events.

It will also scale back its output for teenagers by axing the cross-media activities of BBC Switch and Blast!

Torin Douglas writes: American imports have always been a target for the BBC's critics, who say the popular ones will always get shown on commercial channels. But would anyone else show Mad Men, which has attracted critical acclaim but fewer viewers?

If BBC Switch and Blast! are axed, the BBC will be leaving the teenage market to Channel 4 and E4. Critics say the corporation should really be cutting BBC Three - but that doesn't seem to be on the list.


According to reports, two digital stations - BBC Asian Network and 6 Music - will be closed to save money.

BBC 7, which consists mainly of repeats, will be renamed Radio 4 Extra.

Torin Douglas writes: The Asian Network's audience has been going down, reflecting changes in programme policy over the years.

But the BBC Trust recently said 6 Music was distinctive and well-liked by its listeners, and should be encouraged to reach a bigger audience.


The BBC's website will be halved by 2013 and have its staff and budget reduced by 25 per cent, if measures included in the alleged review are acted upon.

Links to rival companies' websites will become a feature of every page in an attempt to lessen the BBC's impact on commercial alternatives.

Torin Douglas writes: Critics say the BBC website has "grown like Topsy" without a clear overall strategy, damaging the online prospects of commercial broadcasters and publishers.

By cutting it back, the BBC hopes to focus more clearly on priority areas such as the BBC News site.


The BBC's commercial arm will no longer be able to publish magazines in the UK, according to reports.

This could lead to external companies being given contracts to publish such top-selling titles as Top Gear and the Radio Times.

Torin Douglas writes: The BBC has been publishing Radio Times since the 1920s, so a move out of magazines would be a major shift. But it could license them to other publishers, or find a partner for its magazines division.

BBC Worldwide could claim it's being penalised for success. The Government told it to make more money to supplement the BBC's licence fee income. Now it has done so, commercial rivals are up in arms.

Print Sponsor

BBC 'axing 6 Music' report claims
26 Feb 10 |  Entertainment
BBC 'overspends' on building work
25 Feb 10 |  Entertainment
Radio 2 'must broaden its appeal'
15 Feb 10 |  Entertainment


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific