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BBC: Increased annual savings requirement

March 30, 2023

By Colin Mann

The BBC has published its Annual Plan for 2023/24 which commits to providing a wealth of programming and services for all audiences across the UK, but which recognises the increased savings requirement caused by the 2022 licence fee settlement and economic environment.

The publication confirms the BBC maintains its position as the UK’s number one brand for media, used by nine out of ten adults, and that UK audiences spend more time watching BBC TV and iPlayer than Netflix, Disney+ and Amazon Prime Video combined.

In 2022, the BBC spent more on, and commissioned more hours of, UK originated TV content than any other organisation.

According to the BBC, the plan reasserts its strategic priorities of impartiality, high-impact content, more from online, and building the BBC’s commercial income. It also sets out its plans to continue to transform the organisation in response to changing audience behaviour while delivering savings in a tough financial climate.

Highlights for 2023/24 include:

  • Opening up more of its workings to make BBC News the most transparent newsroom in the world, building trust and impartiality
  • Bringing the nation and audiences around the world together in May for The Coronation of The King and The Queen Consort and Eurovision 2023, unique high-impact content that only the BBC can do
  • Accelerating the pace of change across our online services with an additional £50 million (€56.6m) investment per year by 2025/26
  • Delivering the first year of BBC Studios’ ambitious five-year growth plan, with the aim to grow commercial income in the long-term
  • Implementing the next phase of our Across the UK strategy, with new programmes portraying life across the country and reflecting its different communities, experiences and stories

“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,” declared Richard Sharp, Chairman of the BBC. “This plan sets out how we will best serve all audiences by making the most of our resources in the coming year.”

“Our plans outline an ambitious year of creative excellence from the BBC, with trusted news and high quality content to provide the best value for all audiences,” added Tim Davie, Director-General, BBC. “This year we will bring people together like no other organisation can with the Coronation and Eurovision amongst the highlights.”

The BBC has focused on efficiencies and the best allocation of resource to prioritise delivery of value to all audiences. However, the 2022 licence fee settlement and economic environment, including exceptionally high inflation in the industry, mean its original projected annual savings requirement of £285 million by the end of the Charter in 2027/28 has now increased to £400 million. “We will continue to manage our finances prudently,” says the Corporation.

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